It’s a rarity in America to find bipartisan agreement on any issue. Defying the odds, fracking has become an issue that garners critics across party lines. Sensing that opposition to fracking was spreading so widely, Food & Water Action set out to record each and every one of Florida’s seven major gubernatorial candidates publicly declaring they are in favor of a fracking ban. We were 100% successful.
How Did This Happen?
There has been sweeping support for a fracking ban across Florida for a while now. But over the past few months, leadership in Florida have responded. Beginning on June 9 at a gubernatorial debate, the first four candidates proclaimed support for a fracking ban. These are influential and powerful leaders in the Sunshine State and included Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Congresswoman Gwen Graham and Orlando entrepreneur Chris King.
After this massive anti-fracking expression from leadership, one of Florida’s most powerful politicians followed suit. Adam Putnam, the Commissioner of Agriculture, went on the record in support of a fracking ban, quickly followed by Jeff Greene and then the ultra-conservative Congressman Ron DeSantis. Food & Water Action volunteer Ginger Goepper finagled some face time with the Trump-aligned candidate last week and directly asked him whether he supports a ban on fracking. His response, while not confidence-inspiring, was clear. “Yup. Yes. Yeah.”
What Does This Mean?
Fracking has been a hot topic in Florida for a while now, but this new tide toward public commitments in support of a fracking ban is especially revealing about what the next lawmaking session has in store. Oil and energy companies will continue to line the pockets of candidates in hopes of profiting from fracking, but Floridians care more about their environment, public health, and the local economy. They know fracking would threaten each of those. This outpouring of support for a fracking ban from each next potential governor just reiterates: you can’t get elected in Florida if you don’t support a ban on fracking. If Florida is any indication, fracking is about to become as politically toxic across the nation as it is to our future.