Recently, Rep. Dana Young (candidate in SD18) gave a statement to FloridaPolitics.com saying she “opposes fracking, offshore and onshore drilling, and has worked tirelessly on water issues during her entire time in the Legislature.” To the Tampa Bay Times, she said she was categorically opposed to fracking in Florida — “I always have been and always will be.”
But her votes on those issues tell a very different story.
In 2016, Rep. Young voted for the fracking bill, HB 191. Not only would this bill have paved the way for fracking in Florida, but would have made it illegal for local communities to ban or otherwise restrict fracking. This bill also would have made it difficult for the public to find out what toxic chemicals are used in the fracking process.
And what’s worse, Rep. Young voted against several amendments that would have required additional environmental and public health protections, among them, an amendment that would have required the fracking industry to study the impact of fracking chemicals on prenatal health.
Rep. Young also voted against an amendment that would have prohibited fracking companies from using known cancer-causing chemicals. She voted for similar pro-fracking legislation in 2015 (HB 1205) and 2013 (HB 743).
On the subject of oil drilling, Rep. Young voted in committee for a bill that would have expanded onshore oil drilling (HB 695) in state parks, forests, preserves, or other public lands. During that same 2012 session, Rep. Young voted for HB 87, which would have given tax breaks to oil companies to expand oil production in Florida.
On the issue of transparency concerning the toxic Mosaic spill, Young said, “They have a right to know if their drinking water is potentially contaminated. There is no excuse for not being transparent on this.”
We couldn’t agree more, but Rep. Young’s actions speak louder than her words. During her time in Tallahassee, Rep. Young voted numerous times to keep the toxic chemicals (like hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid, arsenic, benzene, methanol, and dozens more) used in the fracking process a secret from the public (see HB 191 from 2016 and HB 1205 from 2015).
Rep. Young’s support for these bills means that parents who live near fracking operations wouldn’t know what pollutants are being pumped into their children’s drinking water. And local governments that want to ban fracking or have already done so would be overridden by state law.
In her six years in Tallahassee, Rep. Young climbed to a leadership position in her party but was far from being a leader when it came to protecting Florida’s water and conservation lands.
Her voting record speaks for itself.
Paid electioneering communication paid for by Florida Conservation Voters Action Fund, 1700 N. Monroe St. #11-286, Tallahassee, FL 32303.