During today’s meeting of the Florida Cabinet, Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried highlighted key issues facing Florida’s natural lands and waterways. Commissioner Fried sponsored a resolution, signed by Governor DeSantis and the full Cabinet, recognizing the month of April as Water Conservation Month in Florida. Following that resolution, Commissioner Fried issued a proclamation calling on state lawmakers to halt the expansion of oil drilling in the Florida Everglades, and prohibit hydraulic fracturing, matrix acidizing, and other forms of fossil fuel exploration throughout the state.
“Water is the lifeblood of our state. The Everglades is one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. Together, they are invaluable resources that we have a moral imperative to preserve for future generations,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “Expanding fossil fuel exploration in the Everglades and throughout Florida is a threat to the clean water on which life, agriculture, and industry in Florida rely. I hope that our state lawmakers will help lead the way in protecting our Everglades and clean water from drilling and fracking.”
Last month, Florida’s First District Court of Appeals overturned the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to deny a permit to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades, just six miles from the city of Miramar. Commissioner Fried called that decision “infuriating.” Studies by Duke University, the EPA, and others have shown thousands of spills attributed to drilling and fracking operations in recent years.
Commissioner Fried presented the proclamation to Deborah L. Foote, Government Affairs and Political Director of Sierra Club Florida, and Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director of Florida Conservation Voters. Read the proclamation calling for a prohibition on fracking and the expansion of oil-drilling in the Everglades here.
“Florida Conservation Voters is honored to receive this prestigious recognition from Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is so valuable for the people of Florida to know that they have an ally on the Cabinet who will oppose expanded oil and gas drilling in the Everglades,” said Aliki Moncrief, Florida Conservation Voters. “In an age of climate change and sea level rise, our focus should be on reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and expanding access to clean, renewable energy options. Commissioner Fried’s leadership on this important issue is invaluable. FCV would like to thank her and the thousands of her staff who work tirelessly every day to keep our food and water clean, our forests healthy and vibrant, and our state such a wonderful place to live.”
“Sierra Club Florida applauds Commissioner Fried’s opposition to any further exploration or drilling for oil and gas in our beloved River of Grass. We can’t afford to put at risk all the investments the public has made to restore the Everglades. Florida stands at a crossroads and it must choose the path towards a clean energy future. It must send a resounding message: Not Here, Not Now, Not Everglades,” saidDeborah L. Foote, Sierra Club Florida.
Commissioner Fried presented the resolution to Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper and Chair of Waterkeepers Florida. Read the resolution declaring April as Water Conservation Month here.
“On behalf of Waterkeepers Florida, we thank Commissioner Fried, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet for designating April as Water Conservation Month. Water conservation is critical to the work we do to protect and restore Florida’s waters. We applaud this resolution and the Cabinet’s commitment to conserving Florida’s waters and the opportunity to partner with our leaders to protect our waters for future generations,” said Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper.