Oil Drilling

People will be joining hands on beaches from Key West to Pensacola Saturday for what has become an annual rite: Hands Across the Sands.

It was started after the BP oil spill, and has become a protest against oil drilling off Florida's coasts.

Photo: NOAA Office of Response and Restoration via Flickr Creative Commons

Seven years ago today, the offshore drilling unit known as the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven people died, and the destruction blew out the undersea well nearly a mile below the surface. Scientists are still studying how the worst oil spill in U.S. history, and the release of more than 4.9 million barrels of oil, is impacting the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

Photo: Big Cypress National Preserve, National Park Service

Friday on Gulf Coast Live features WGCU's contribution to the statewide Decision Florida collaborative reporting project: an in-depth report looking at a proposed ban in Florida to hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking," and other fracking-like oil and gas well stimulation treatments in the state.

Mary Crandall/ Creative Commons

Florida lawmakers are tackling a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing, and other fracking-like well stimulation treatments in the state.  The Republican-sponsored bills in the House and Senate have gained a number of co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.  Supporters of the ban say the risks of surface water and ground water contamination from fracking make the technology too risky. They say the technique is incompatible with Florida’s geology.  Opponents worry about its impact on energy costs, Florida’s economy and point to the lack of a Florida-specific study on the potential impacts of fracking.  

When Donald Trump takes office in January, does that mean oil derricks could soon be sprouting off Florida's beaches? And did state senators really vote to impose Islamic Sharia law in Florida? WUSF's Steve Newborn digs deeper into those claims with Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.

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