Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PNN - ATTACK on Bonita Springs

Tomorrow at 9:00am
Bonita Springs City Hall
9101 Bonita Beach Road, 
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


Let’s celebrate and support the Bonita Springs City Council 6-0 vote to move forward with an ordinance that would ban oil well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing, acid fracking, and acidizing. The ban, approved at a first reading July 1 in a 6-0 vote, with a second and final hearing scheduled for July 15, is targeted to prohibit all fracking-like activities within city limits. 

Please join us Wednesday, July 15, 9 a.m. at Bonita Springs City Hall to support a ban. Invite your friends. Wear red to signify your support to stop fracking. Our aim is to visibly support a ban on fracking in the City.

The proposed ban is already under fire with Collier Resources threatened to sue the City if they adopt it. The Colliers—who owns thousands of acres of mineral rights in Bonita Springs and 800,000 acres in Florida—called the ban flawed and warned that the city would be opening itself to lawsuits if adopted: “this constitutionally flawed ordinance . . . will expose the city to numerous lawsuits and class actions, from Collier Resources and others,” threatened company attorney Ronald L. Weaver. 

With an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion, the Colliers are ranked the 119th wealthiest family in the U.S. and among the country’s largest landowners, according to Forbes.

We are deeply offended that the Colliers would threaten Bonita Springs with a lawsuit. It’s not all neighborly. We’ve read the seven-page letter the Colliers’ attorney sent to Mayor Ben Nelson and applaud the City for moving forward, despite threats. We’d just like to note that the Bert Harris Act claim seems invalid since no oil and gas has been found in Bonita Springs and hence no actual mineral rights exist to protect. Bonita’s oil reserves are as yet undiscovered and untapped and hence speculative and the Bert Harris Act only deals with non-speculative real property. Also, regarding the “Take,”this ordinance would not prohibit Collier Resources from taking or extracting oil and gas; Collier Resources could still use proven conventional oil drilling just not well stimulation treatments that pose a threat to our water resources, like hydraulic fracturing, acid fracking, and acidizing. These are usually three-day procedures and non-essential, meaning oil can be extracted without these extreme extraction techniques. 

The ordinance would protect the rights of all stakeholders: the residents, drillers, and landowner and would preserve the integrity of this community and their water resources and those of their neighbors downstream. 

We applaud the City Council for their good example of securing a local amendment to protect their community against irresponsible fracking and fracking-like activities that could contaminate Florida’s water resources. Their efforts are particularly timely and well-advised since the 2015 legislative session failed to put forward or adopt any meaningful oil and gas laws. On the contrary SB 1468 would have continued to allow fracking and the nondisclosure of toxic chemicals. Worse yet, it would have taken away a city’s home rule right to protect itself with bans, well siting, and water use ordinances. We don’t want the state preempting Bonita’s home rule right. So now is the perfect time for local bans.

Here is a wonderful Action Alert from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida that has more details and talking points. It has graphics and so'll I'll also directly link it to Stonecrab Alliance @ Facebook and send by email so you can see them.


Please join us in support of the Bonita Springs City Council’s proposed ordinance, which would prohibit the use of oil well stimulation techniques, including “fracking,” within the city limits. The Bonita City Council is proposing to enact this ordinance to protect the quality of life in Bonita by preventing these polluting industrialized activities from coming near residential areas, as well as polluting Bonita’s air, land, and water resources. 

On Wednesday July, 15 the City Council will hold a vote on this proposed ordinance to keep unconventional fracking-type oil well stimulation activities out of Bonita Springs and they will need your support. Please come and please wear a red shirt to signify your support to stop fracking in the City of Bonita. If you are a Bonita resident and would like to make a 3-minute comment in support, let us know by calling (239) 262-0304 x232 so we can provide you additional materials that might be useful for you to review in preparation.

Well stimulation includes fracking and fracking-like operations. Well stimulation is a technique involving large amounts of freshwater (often from prime potable water supply sources) mixed with toxic chemicals and injected underground to fracture or dissolve oil bearing rock and increase oil production. Well stimulation is a broad term which includes: acidizing or acid stimulation, acid fracturing, and hydraulic fracturing. Each of these well stimulation techniques represents a heavy industrial use, posing significant risks to human health and water supply.

Bonita Springs is proposing to ban well stimulation. 
Under current state law, well stimulation treatments are essentially unregulated. No permit is required to pursue these operations. Instead, well operators must simply notify the state and state cannot direct, restrict or stop their use – even if the state believes such proposed activities are unsafe. Fracking-type well stimulation can create traffic, lighting, noise, pollution and other serious adverse impacts to existing community residents and their private property rights. In light of this, Bonita Springs is right to use its zoning authority to protect its citizens by banning well stimulation within city boundaries. 

Well stimulation impacts to water quality and quantity. There are multiple pathways for oil and hazardous well stimulation fluids to enter water supplies such as through surface spills, underground fractures, and nearby abandoned wells. Well stimulation chemicals are known to cause nervous system damage, blood disorders, eye irritation, and cancer. Furthermore, these operations rely on large quantities of freshwater. A well stimulation operation in Collier County, Florida used over 660,000 gallons of water in just two and a half days. The waste water generated from these operations is highly toxic and cannot be recycled back into drinking water supplies. This is an unacceptable use of potable water, particularly as local governments are already forced to seek alternative water supplies.

Impacts of well stimulation are unstudied in Florida. The State of Florida has a unique geological make up consisting of porous limestone, which facilitates the movement of contaminants. Currently, there is little information regarding the risks associated with well stimulation operations in Florida. Therefore, it is inappropriate to use well stimulation techniques due to the lack of scientific data and suitable regulations. 

Take Action!
The Conservancy urges residents of Southwest Florida to attend the July 15, 2015 City Council meeting and wear red in support of the proposed ordinance to prohibit well stimulation. We encourage residents of Bonita Springs to contact your City Council members or speak in support of the ordinance during the public comment periods at the meeting. 

Suggested Talking Points (public comment is limited to 3 minutes per speaker): 

• Thank you for moving this important ordinance to a second and final reading.
• The proposed ordinance will protect our water supplies from depletion. Studies across the United States show well stimulation operations rely on millions of gallons of freshwater. Once this water is used, it is highly toxic and must be permanently discarded. This is not a responsible use of our precious water supplies.
• The proposed ordinance will protect our water supplies from contamination. The impacts of well stimulation have not been studied in Florida’s unique geology. We sit on top of porous limestone which facilitates the movement of contaminants. Consequently, leaks or spills of “fracking” fluids and oil could cause catastrophic impacts to our water supplies.
• The proposed ordinance will protect our community from incompatible industrial uses. Hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation techniques would increase truck traffic along our roadways and may result in more widespread drilling. Industrial uses such as these are inappropriate in residential areas and in the DRGR—land set aside to protect our water.
• The proposed ordinance will capture all types of unconventional oil drilling. The ordinance will capture all well stimulation techniques that inject large quantities of toxic chemicals to enhance oil production—whether those techniques fracture or dissolve rock. I support the current definition of well stimulation as it will capture the operations of concern - from acidizing to fracking.
• Please vote to approve the proposed ordinance!

When: July 15, 2015
9:00 am 
Where: City Hall
9101 Bonita Beach Rd. 
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Hope this will be like a "domino affect" across the state....
and nation, the fact that there is a Water crisis and we can not afford to waste a drop of this precious life giving fluid, should be enough to stop this unwholesome practice of "fracking", but for the greedy insanity of those that have more than enough money, we are forced to defend our rights to good clean water and air for future generations......and we will!

Tomorrow at 9:00am
Bonita Springs City Hall, 
9101 Bonita Beach Road, 
Bonita Springs, FL 34135


Karen and John with the Stonecrab Alliance responding.

With all due respect, we very much like the suggested corrections on the sign-on letter by Jennifer Hecker with the Conservancy of SWFL. 
They add precision, accuracy, details, comprehensiveness, and inclusiveness.  They make an excellent letter even better.  

For instance, “fracking and other fracking-like techniques using fracking chemicals for oil and gas drilling,” immediately broadens the issue to include acidizing and anything else industry might come up with while still using the “f” word for impact and recognition.  The phrase nails it.  And while using the “f” word three times in one sentence might seem redundant, it closes up loopholes and captures hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, and other well stimulation techniques that use fracking chemicals. 

The details added to paragraph #2 and #3 add conciseness, precision, and accuracy; seismic surveys are currently in the permit process.  

So, too, the edited goals of the coalition sound very engaging and comprehensive; it also seems to more accurately reflect what everyone is doing not only in Tallahassee but also across the state, in local communities, and especially in Collier County which was, indeed, fracked. 

Again, we like additions made to the tenets of the coalition.  We don’t think they water down our message.  On the contrary the details not only strengthen our argument but clarify exactly what we want.  

Why not add the edits to the sign-on letter?  They would make it even stronger.  

We’re very grateful for everyone’s help on this and look forward to a frack-free Florida.  Alone we can make a difference; together we can shutdown irresponsible oil drilling and fracking. 

All the best, 

Karen Dwyer, Ph.D. and John P. Dwyer, Ph.D.
Stonecrab Alliance
15937 Delasol Lane
Naples, FL  34110

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