Last spring, you added your name to Audubon's petition to show the oil and gas industry that Floridians stand united to protect Florida' water resources. Your strong voice helped defeat two controversial fracking bills poised for legislative action.
At the time, there were no planned fracking projects in Florida, but there was deep concern about HB 71 and HB 157. These two bills cut off the public's right to know the details of what chemicals are used during the fracking process.
Much has happened since that time. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been at odds with the Dan A. Hughes Company over drilling operations in Collier County that crossed the line into exploratory fracking.
At the end of 2013, the company utilized a procedure called "acid stimulation" to increase the flow of oil coming out of their Collier Hogan well. Such extreme extraction techniques were not authorized by the DEP permit, triggering a train of legal actions and communication gridlock.
DEP ended the year by issuing a cease & desist order to the Dan A. Hughes Company, followed by a Consent Order which culminated in all of the company's permits being revoked on July 18, 2014. Along the way, the Dan A. Hughes company resisted disclosing full and complete information about the chemicals used in this process, which was precisely Audubon's concern about HB 71 and HB 157.
The Collier County Commission played a strong role in demanding answers and holding regulators accountable, as did many of you as these battles waged on. Count on fracking being a topic for discussion during the 2015 Florida Legislative Session and know that together we will make our voices heard to oppose this harmful drilling technique.
Thank you for all that you do for Florida.