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Geoscientist says groundwater contamination via fracturing "not physically plausible"

By Bruce Ritchie

A geoscientist with experience in hydraulic fracturing operations for the oil and gas industry says studies have shown groundwater contamination from "fracking" is "not physically plausible."

The Consumer Energy Alliance-Florida held an "Energy 101" presentation at the Capitol on Tuesday that included comments by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Rep. Ray Rodrigues. Diaz is chairman of the House Energy and Utilities Subcommittee.

Rodrigues, R-Estero, is sponsor of HB 71, which would require the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to establish an online registry of fracking chemicals. An identical bill passed the House 92-19 in April but died without action in the Senate amid environmentalists' opposition.

Denise Cox of Panama City, vice president of Storm Energy Ltd., was the main speaker. She said hydraulic fracturing involves only the process of injecting fluids to break up rock containing oil and gas.

She also said media and opposition groups describe all aspects of oil and gas drilling, including drilling and casing wells, as hydraulic fracturing.