FRACKING CONFRONTS FLORIDA: Profitable but controversial technique of drilling for oil and gas proposed here.
By Mary Wozniak
South Florida may be ripe for fracking.
The controversial process of drilling for oil and natural gas is pumping billions into government coffers, residents' pockets and energy company bank accounts across the country, creating thousands of jobs, reducing reliance on foreign energy - and causing environmental concerns.
Fracking, formally called hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting a well with a cocktail of water, chemicals and sand at high pressure to fracture rock and access previously untapped reserves.
A fracking frenzy has swept through North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Ohio, Montana, Texas and elsewhere. In Williston, N.D., Mayor Ward Koeser said fracking brought the state $1.5 to $2 billion in the last year alone. 'It's been intense,' he said.
Fracking is inevitable in South Florida, maybe within a year, said Ed Pollister, owner/operator of a small company called Century Oil, with offices in Immokalee and Michigan.
Pollister said he's discussed his desire to frack with officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
'At some point if I don't do it, somebody else will,' he said.
Alico Inc. also could have a future in fracking. The company discovered as much as 94 tons of possible fracking sand in Hendry County.
Fracking fever is fueled by new technologies developed over the last 10 years that make it economically feasible and profitable to drill for previously untouchable sources of oil and gas.