Former EPA assistant administrator Winston Porter addressed the state’s engineers during a conference on Marco Island Friday.
He’s educating people around the country about the pros and cons of new energy sources – including fracking, which has recently become a hot topic in Florida.
Porter is an energy consultant who used to be second in command at the EPA during the Reagan Administration.
He said right now states across the country have a lot of options when it comes to energy. Porter said the spread of fracking, which is used mostly for oil and gas exploration, has been providing a lot of benefits.
But, he said, there still is not a lot known about what its effects could be in a state like Florida. Porter said the state should be doing its research and considering its own rules when it comes to fracking.
“The reason I like the states—particularly big states like Florida that have strong regulatory departments and stuff like that—are that they know their state better and know their geology better and they are closer to the people,” he said.
Right now, Florida’s oil and gas laws are antiquated and don’t include much regarding new technology like hydraulic fracturing—or fracking.
A Texas-based oil company recently got in trouble with state regulators for using an unapproved fracking-like extraction procedure in Southwest Florida.
Both Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Department of Environmental Protection Chief Herschel Vinyard have said they have plans to push for new legislation to regulate oil exploration.