[OPINION] The Tallahassee Democrat is correct in saying HB 157 is a bad idea for a number of reasons.
In the important energy debate over producing and using traditional fossil-based fuels vs alternative energy, the state of Florida is in a position to play a vital role in defining policy.
First, a bill offering exemptions for trade secrets from fracking companies is problematic because it puts consumers in a position to trust corporations to disclose possible carcinogens used in their processes. Even BP oil didn’t disclose much information initially during the clean up of their spill in 2010.
Secondly, should corporations’ trade secrets take precedence over consumers’ need for safe and clean drinking water?
Thirdly, upstream companies primarily compete by finding fossil fuel-rich sites. This is why geologists play such an important role in discovering hard to find natural gas and oil deposits.
Lastly, if it was so valuable to know what each corporation used in its so-called proprietary chemical cocktail for fracking, it would not be difficult for a competitor to discover another’s secrets through experimentation, hiring personnel away, or conducting a site analysis.
Just as taxpayers funded the research for fracking decades ago, resulting in the boom we are currently enjoying, so should an “all of the above” strategy include funding for research in renewable energies. It will help preserve what makes Florida an attractive place to live and do business, and it will ensure the United States maintains its leadership role on the global stage.
Read the Tallahassee Democrat story here.
____________________________Seth Warren Rose Founding Director, Eneref Institute twitter @sethwarrenrose ____________________________