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PSR/Florida sponsored Craig Stevens, Groundswell Rising Community Outreach Coordinator to come to Tallahassee to help us educate members of the legislature on the dangers of hydraulic fracturing. Mr. Stevens is a 6th generation landowner now living in his ancestral home in Silver Lake Township, PA and has experienced every aspect of the gas drilling industry in his own back yard. Craig has experienced the nightmare of truck traffic, noise, odors and water contamination that goes along with the extreme extraction technology of fracking and recognizes this as a civil and human rights issue and became an advocate for renewable energy. Mr. Stevens along with Susie Caplowe and Allen Henry met with an impressive number of Democratic and Republican legislators and with aides from the offices of Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. They presented the legislators and office staff with a packet of PSR brochures, resources and position papers. The factual information and meetings were educational and very informative and no doubt have turned heads and minds as we continue to make a difference and advocate for health protective policies.
Specifically they discussed HB71 and HB157 both sponsored by Rep. Rodriquez (R- Lee) HB 71 calls for disclosure of the volume of water and the chemicals injected into the ground to frack wells, but HB 157 allows companies to withhold whichever chemicals they choose from disclosure by claiming they are “trade secrets” and only a court can decide otherwise. Without full transparency of what is being injected into the ground the public has no way of knowing if the chemicals are safe. In addition there is no protection under the Safe Drinking Water Act. These unknown chemicals could very well be contaminating our drinking water.
PSR supports a precautionary approach that includes a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing until such time as impartial federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency develop and implement enforceable rules that provide adequate protection for human health and the environment from fossil fuel extraction processes that use hydraulic fracturing.
In addition to the legislative visits, the team along with PSR/Florida board member Ron Saff, MD and longtime volunteer Ray Bellamy, MD sponsored a screening of Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children’s Air And Water, the new documentary from Emmy Award-winning Resolution Pictures, which captures the passion of people engaged in a David and Goliath confrontation over fracking and health. The screening was open to the public and attended by over 50 people. Following the screening a lively discussion ensued where Mr. Stevens answered questions from the audience.
Stay tuned as we plan to screen Groundswell Rising in other areas of the state. If you would like to sponsor a screening please contact us.
PSR/Florida Board Member, Ron Saff, MD and Craig Stevens
Dr. Ron Saff answering questions from the audience after the viewing of Groundswell Rising.
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Yolanda Whyte, MD, a Board member of PSR Florida. These are her comments before an EPA hearing on water pollution from coal plants on July 9, 2013. Read more »