Rep. Rodrigues Joins Bottom Line on Hydraulic Fracturing, Education and More

By: Florida Chamber of Commerce

“This is where the environmentalists have completely gotten it wrong.”

– Representative Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers), Vice Chair of the House Finance and Tax Committee

Fighting for regulation certainty for job creators mean pushing back against the creation of a patchwork of local regulations across Florida’s counties. This legislative session, the Florida Chamber supported a bill that would provide regulatory certainty and updates to old statutes regarding regulation of oil and gas, specifically for efforts like hydraulic fracturing. But misinformation from environmental extremists derailed Florida opportunity to responsibly regulate these efforts.

“This is where the environmentalists have completely gotten it wrong,” said Rep. Rodrigues. “Under our existing statutes, a company can come in, apply for a conventional extraction permit, and then just make the decision they want to transfer over to an unconventional means. And all they have to do is provide DEP a workover notice, so DEP does not have the ability to go in and make the determination ‘this is a procedure we’re going to authorize you to do or not.’ Once they’ve issued that permit for conventional drilling- they’re permitted. So what this would have done would have been to ensure that these businesses that are going to engage in this activity were properly vetted, which we do not have now.”

Rep. Rodrigues also focused on Florida’s education reform efforts. The Florida Chamber believes a one-size-fits-all education system cannot cater to the abilities of each student and equip them for success in a global economy. Customized and personalized education opportunities can be found through Competency-Based Education Programs, a new pilot program working its way through the Florida Legislature, which will allow students to work at their own faster pace if needed.

“What we’ve done is we’ve moved away from a one-sized-fits-all model, and what we’re allowing now is a personalized education plan for each child, which will allow them to reach their potential and reach their potential more quickly,” said Rep. Rodrigues.