On the presidential campaign trail, DeSantis has reversed course and expressed support for fracking in states that allow it.
“Ron DeSantis is against fracking. He’s against drilling,” Haley said. “He always talks about what happens on day one, you better watch out because what happens on day two is when you’re in trouble. Day two in Florida, you ban fracking, you ban offshore drilling.”
DeSantis’s actions on fracking have been more nuanced than Haley’s attack suggests. In his 2018 campaign for governor, he promised “to pass legislation that bans fracking in the state.”
“With Florida’s geological makeup of limestone and shallow water sources, fracking presents a danger to our state that is not acceptable,” he wrote on his 2018 campaign website.
That November, Florida voters passed an amendment to the state constitution to ban offshore oil and gas drilling under Florida’s waters. The amendment did not mention fracking.
Two days after his inauguration, on Jan. 10, 2019, DeSantis signed an executive order implementing the change. Among other things, the sweeping order instructed the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to “take necessary actions to adamantly oppose all off-shore oil and gas activities off every coast in Florida and hydraulic fracturing in Florida.”
Effectively, according to PolitiFact, no permits have authorized fracking in Florida while DeSantis has been in office.
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During Wednesday’s debate, DeSantis tried to deny Haley’s assertion that he had banned fracking as governor: “That’s not true,” he replied.
DeSantis pointed to the constitutional amendment to explain his executive order. He went on to argue that he supports increased drilling in west Texas and would force gas prices down as president.
“We are gonna get that job done because it’s important for our national security, it’s important for jobs, and that’s one of the best ways to drive down inflation,” he said.
Haley then falsely claimed that DeSantis banned fracking in his state before residents voted on the issue. The vote occurred before DeSantis took office.
DeSantis has not followed through on his pledge to pass legislation that would ban fracking in Florida. While serving in the U.S. House in 2013, he voted for a bill that would force the federal Department of Interior to defer to each state’s rules on fracking.
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, has caused a surge in oil and gas production in the United States in recent years. It also has negative environmental impacts, including groundwater contamination, air pollution, noise and leaks of methane, a greenhouse gas. The wastewater disposal wells associated with fracking can also cause earthquakes.
At a presidential campaign event in July, DeSantis reiterated that he does not expect all states to outlaw fracking, as Florida has.
“We have a constitutional amendment that does not allow offshore drilling, and so that’s something that we honor,” he said. “That is not saying that I think that should apply to Louisiana or Texas and all that. So that will continue, and we want them to be able to do it, and we also want them to be able to use hydraulic fracturing.”
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.