House bill bans 2 of 3 forms of oil, gas fracking in Florida

Two forms of fracking for oil and natural gas exploration would be banned in Florida under a bill that cleared a state House panel Tuesday, leaving in place a third technique opponents say would still threaten water supplies and the state’s fragile environment.

The House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture and natural resources voted 10-2 for the bill, which would permit a rock-dissolving technique called matrix acidizing but ban two other common forms of fracking.

Environmental groups call that a loophole, putting underground aquifers at risk of contamination from potentially dangerous chemicals. The petroleum industry also opposes the bill because it would halt use of other fracking techniques.

But legislators who voted in favor called the measure a major step forward in curbing the practice in Florida.

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