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Florida activists continue to push fracking bans

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The grassroots push to ban fracking in Florida continues.

Activists are mobilizing fracking foes to call and email Calhoun County Commissioners and demand an emergency meeting on the issue.

The sparsely populated county is in the Panhandle, west of Tallahassee.

“Calhoun County will have the Cholla Petroleum Company begin seismic testing any day now,” reads the invite to one Facebook organizational effort. “This is for fossil fuel extraction for oil or gas. Fracking via hydraulic fracturing and matrix acid stimulation is a threat to Florida’s environment and water supply.”

The social media rally comes after news that seismic testing in Calhoun and Gulf Counties was on hold due to a legal challenge.

“Cholla Petroleum is days away from starting their seismic testing in Calhoun and Gulf Counties. They were challenged but apparently it did no good. Cholla is a fracking company out of Texas. They will be drilling and blasting across the Dead Lakes and very close to the fragile Apalachicola and Chipola rivers. Gulf County passed a resolution, but Calhoun refused, as they have close ties to the Neal Timber Company that owns most of the land in that area.”

Meanwhile, a measure that would have regulated fracking in the state died this legislative session.

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at m.ross66211@gmail.com.

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