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Florida Finally Gets Mad Over 'Acid Fracking' Near Vulnerable Wildlife Habitat

'Wildcat' drilling company is pumping high-pressure, corrosive fluid into the ground by Big Cypress National Preserve.

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​Though oil drilling seems at odds with southwest Florida, which is known for its wildlife parks and agricultural reserves, its nothing new. In fact oil wells have been part of the landscape since World War II. But residents and local officials say that the new, advanced extraction techniques pose larger risks to the environment are a matter of concern. Most of the recent drilling applications have been for exploratory wells, or “wildcats” as they're called in the industry. First, companies drill an exploratory well to search for oil. If non is found, they plug it up and move on. If there is, they drill a second well to inject the fracking wastewater, called brine, into the ground.

Cliff Weathers is a senior editor at AlterNet, covering environmental and consumer issues. He is a former deputy editor at Consumer Reports. His work has also appeared in Salon, Car and Driver, Playboy, and Detroit Monthly among other publications. Follow him on Twitter @cliffweathers and on Facebook.

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