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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – A bill that would ban hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for oil and natural gas in Florida received unanimous approval from the state Senate’s Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.

The American Petroleum Institute spoke out opposing the bill. They argued that the drilling practice has not been scientifically proven to contaminate groundwater and that an outright ban may abridge property and mineral rights enshrined by a state law.

Business groups also argued a fracking ban could inhibit energy production and harm the state economy.

But Republican Sen. Dana Young, from Tampa, defended a ban.

“We are not foreclosing on any individual’s property rights. We are simply foreclosing one method which is incompatible with the geology of our state,” Young said.

The measure has 14 co-sponsors, including four Republicans. It now moves to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.

A House version has not been heard in committee.

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The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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