Miami, Florida August 02, 2015
A Florida company has submitted for a permit to drill oil in the Everglades just west Broward County, sparking a likely clash with environmentalists over a remote area currently inhabited by native birds, alligators and other unique wildlife.
According to applications filed with the state, a drill well over two miles in depth would be necessary in order determine the feasibility of extracting oil from the area.
The company applicable company stated this would be "one of the first steps in a long-term plan that includes proposed mining, as well as water storage and water quality improvement components that have the potential for assisting with Everglades restoration."
The land was originally acquired and owned by Joseph Kanter, a developer, philanthropist, and Miami banker. His desire to build a town on the land never came to fruition. Subsequently, the South Florida Water Management District purchased the rights to control the water flow of the land, as part of its environmental preservation of the Everglades.
The company applying for the license to drill adamantly claimed that it would do so only in a way that is environmentally friendly.
The land is transversed by numerous underground of oil deposits commonly known as the Sunniland Trend, which run from clear Fort Myers to Miami, where South Florida's modest oil business has quietly gone on since the 1940s. In the past few years, there has been greater interest in looking for additional Sunniland oil deposits, including a pending plan for seismic exploration at Big Cypress National Preserve, where oil wells have been active in two locations for years.
Environmentalists, who recently became aware of the proposal, stated that drilling that area would damage the region's water supply, invariably destroy wildlife habitat as well as complicate the restoration of the Everglades.
Matthew Schwartz, the executive director of the South Florida Wildlands Association, adamantly stated that he would oppose the proposal and showed further concern at state's tendency to rubber-stamp oil drilling application for drilling permits. Of major concern according to Mr. Schwarz was the probability that drilling would invariably expose the Biscayne aquifer, a porous layer of underground limestone that serves as a main source for South Florida's drinking water.