‘Fracking' ban re-emerges for 2020 session


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Senate Democrat on Wednesday filed a proposal to ban the controversial oil- and gas-drilling process known as "fracking" and a similar drilling technique opposed by environmentalists.

Senate Environment and Natural Resources Chairman Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, filed the measure (SB 200) for the 2020 legislative session, which starts in January.

It would ban hydraulic fracturing -- commonly known as fracking -- and matrix acidization, which uses many of the same chemicals but dissolves rocks with acid instead of fracturing them with pressurized liquid.

Opponents of fracking have argued that banning fracking without also targeting matrix acidization would create a loophole for oil companies.

Montford proposed a similar measure in the 2019 session, but it did not pass.

A separate measure that would have banned fracking without prohibiting matrix acidization cleared two Senate committees but did not go further.

A House version to ban fracking without addressing matrix acidization also did not make it through all of its assigned committees.