“…a three-judge panel of the state’s First District Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) acted improperly in denying a permit to drill the first exploratory oil well in the Everglades in half a century. The DEP had initially denied the permit when it was filed in 2016 by mineral owner Kanter Real Estate LLC, citing threats to surface and groundwater.
After an administrative law judge, E. Gary Early, issued a finding that the five-acre parcel of land on which Kanter wants to drill the well is in fact isolated from groundwater and the local public water supply, and published a ‘recommended order’ for the project to move forward, DEP officials once again denied the permit. The Court of Appeal ruled, in a 14-page decision, that ‘DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein improperly rejected ‘factual findings’ by’ Judge Early and that ‘state law requires agencies to accept administrative law judges’ findings of fact unless they are not supported by ‘competent, substantial evidence.'”1
Does anyone remember that once upon a time, Oklahoma didn’t have regular earthquakes? And then all the drilling started…
The matter will now be sent back to DEP as they have been ordered to issue the permit. And, barring any further appeals, like an injunction filed by an activist group or executive action by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who campaigned against hydraulic fracturing (“Fracking”) – the permit will likely be issued in the next couple of weeks.
Unbelieveable. Irresponsible. Insane. Dangerous.
“If drilled, the proposed well would be completed in the Sunniland Shale formation, a shale that to this point has not been extensively tested with fracking or horizontal drilling. In fact, Kanter says it does not plan to use hydraulic fracturing in this well, lessening the likelihood of executive action by Gov. DeSantis. Anti-fossil fuel activists in the area have raised the usual fright scenarios about impacts to the groundwater, but those are baseless and in this case, the wellbore wouldn’t even pass through local groundwater formations.”1
There are those who view this as progress; going so far as to say “Thank goodness the proposed drilling location isn’t actually inside Everglades National Park or there would be more federal regulations to deal with.” This kind of devil may care attitude about our natural environment is shocking and honestly, part of the reason we’re in the trouble we’re in. All over the world, and for far too long, we’ve thought little about how our actions impact the physical world we live in. And depend on.
We will be watching this story and you can bet, updating you once we have more information.