TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida could be opened up to fracking under a bill that would require the Department of Environmental Protection to study and set regulations for the method of oil and gas drilling.
A House committee voted 9-3 to approve the bill Wednesday despite strong opposition from environmentalists who said fracking could contaminate drinking water and cause health problems.
Fracking is the process of shooting a mix of water, sand and chemicals underground at high pressure to fracture rock formations and release oil and gas trapped inside.
The bill calls for a $1 million study on how fracking would affect surface and groundwater, underground geology and how water and chemicals used in the process are disposed.
DEP would then set fracking regulations based on the study.