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Paula Cobb

Senate bill amended to ban fracking during study, rule-making

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A bill that would regulate oil and gas hydraulic fracturing was amended by a Senate committee on Tuesday to place a moratorium on the activity until after a study is completed in 2016. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “high-pressure well-stimulation” or “fracking,” is a process involving the use of water, sand and chemicals to extract oil and gas from rock. Supporters say SB 1468 is needed to provide regulation for fracking like that which occurred in 2013 in Collier County. The Florida Department…

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Fracking bills pass Senate committee with DEP support

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Bills dealing with oil and gas hydraulic fracturing in Florida passed their first Senate committee stop on Tuesday after a state environmental official said they would provide needed regulation for the industry. SB 1468 by state Sen. Garrett Richter, a Republican from Bradenton, requires the state to develop rules for permitting “high-pressure well-stimulation,” which includes hydraulic fracturing — also called fracking. SB 1582 provides for a public records exemption for fracking “trade secrets.” Paula Cobb, the Florida Department of Environmental…

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Florida DEP says Legislature will get shot at state carbon plan

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Pressed by legislators, a state environmental official said Wednesday she doesn’t expect Florida to forward to federal officials a plan for reducing carbon dioxide emissions without getting approval by the Legislature. President Barack Obama in 2014 issued his Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels. Industry groups and some states have opposed the proposed rules with Murray Energy Corp. filing a lawsuit to block the action by the U.S. Environmental Protection…

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