H.B. 191, a Florida bill that would facilitate fracking throughout Florida recently gained approval in the House Agricultural and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee. Since this is the second subcommittee it has passed, the bill is poised to be debated by the entire House in Florida’s upcoming January legislative session.
So far, opposition from the bill has come from environmental groups and the Florida League of Cities. The League opposes provisions that preempt local governments from enacting anti-fracking ordinances and regulating where and how fracking is conducted within their borders. The League’s opposition, however, may be misplaced. Local oil and gas regulations are arguably already preempted by overarching state law. As the bill’s sponsor, Representative Ray Rodrigues, stated in the subcommittee meeting, “It’s our position that when it comes to the field of oil and gas, it’s already been preempted to the state, both expressly and implicitly.”
No action has been taken on H.B. 191’s senate counterpart. However, a rival senate bill that would prohibit fracking on a statewide level, S.B. 166, has already been introduced.