Fracking-Like Activity in the Everglades Draws Wrath of Environmentalists

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Fracking-Like Activity in the Everglades Draws Wrath of EnvironmentalistsAn energy firm has been suspected of using a technique similar to fracking to extract oil close to the Everglades, kicking a furore that prompted the state to fine it and issue a temporary directive halting all further drilling activities.

Senator Bill Nelson joined the fray by urging federal officials to launch an investigation into the matter. The emerging scramble for energy resources on the western periphery of the Everglades has triggered disquiet from environmentalists in Florida who say the drilling activity poses serious risks to wildlife and water quality.

“This is our watershed,” Vickie Machado, a Fort Lauderdale resident and the Florida organizer for Food & Water Watch, said, according to SunSentinel. “They are using millions of gallons of clean water, mixing it with chemicals with known carcinogens, and pumping it underground to break up the protected rock formations out there. The potential is pretty scary.”

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Dan A. Hughes Co, a Beeville, Texas-based energy firm was accused of “using an enhanced extraction procedure” similar to fracking last December without a permit and non-compliance with an order to halt the practice. The method hasn’t been used in Florida before, revealed the Department of Environmental Protection.

The company applied for permission to be allowed to pump dissolving acids at high pressure in its production well located in Collier County. However, the request wasn’t immediately granted, but the company moved in and used the procedure. Consequently, it was fined $25,000, which is considered the maximum civil penalty as per Florida law. It was also directed to seek the services of an independent expert to check the groundwater near the “fracked” site.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves blasting open shale rocks using a mixture of chemicals, sand and water at high pressure to releaser trapped fossil fuel. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com