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Leadership Change Raising Hopes For Fracking Ban

Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, is the new chairwoman of a Senate environmental spending committee and an ardent supporter of a statewide fracking ban.
Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, is the new chairwoman of a Senate environmental spending committee and an ardent supporter of a statewide fracking ban.

A leadership shuffle in the Florida Senate is lifting the hopes of anti-fracking activists.

Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, is the new chairwoman of a Senate environmental spending committee and an ardent supporter of a statewide fracking ban.
Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, is the new chairwoman of a Senate environmental spending committee and an ardent supporter of a statewide fracking ban.

A statewide ban on the controversial drilling method stalled last session in an environmental spending committee when the Republican chairman refused to hear it.

But the new committee chair is Democratic Senator Lauren Book, a ban co-sponsor. Book says she will support the bill if it reaches her panel.

“We are continuing to look at that issue, because, again, our environment is a national treasure and we must do all that we can to make sure that it is being kept safe.”

The more conservative House, where the Florida Petroleum Council has greater sway, remains a major obstacle. The lower chamber has repeatedly refused to hear a statewide fracking ban.

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Jim Ash is a reporter at WFSU-FM. A Miami native, he is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.
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