During this political campaign, the issue off Everglades drilling has come up once again. Here is why it is a bad idea.
First, all mineral rights in the Everglades are owned by the Barron Collier Corporation. So any drilling business would belong to them. The Miccosukee have a few wells, also. That is the company that built Ava Maria, and who are trying to build another city south of there in prime panther habitat, called Big Cypress. Why do they always name a new development after what they destroy? Estuary in Collier County, and Black Bear Reserve in Lake County are an example.
To drill oil or natural gas, a current technique used is called Hydraulic Fracturing, or Fracking for short. Even the name sounds offensive. You can find a lot of information about it on wikipedia.
Fracking involves shooting high pressure water with sand and particles down wells, so that it breaks up the rock; making it possible for the oil to collect into pockets and be sucked out from underground. To say the least, it is controversial.
Do you trust oil companies after what happened with the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico last year?
Fracking also includes chemicals like benzene that are introduced to keep pipes from rusting, a common occurrence down here.
Here is why fracking is bad for us in South Florida.
We do not have shale underground, but limestone instead. Limestone has pockets like Swiss cheese. It is not just a neat layer of oil below a neat layer of water. All those are trapped in pockets of the porous limestone. You start breaking apart the rock, you will also start breaking apart the aquifer.
The oil under the Everglades and Big Cypress is also poor quality. It has a high sulfur content. So it is used in marine fuel, and probably diesel. It is not the kind you can process for automobile gasoline. You burn a fuel with a high sulfur content, you do not want those fumes on our roads and cities. That is why it has never been a big economic industry for south Florida.
The Everglades and Big Cypress is all about water. You destroy the aquifer, then you destroy the very foundation of South Florida. You poison the water down here, then it is game over for everyone. Seems like a bad idea to me.