On Tuesday, April 30, 2013, the Florida Senate voted favorably for the passage of the Florida Underground Natural Gas Storage Act, CS/CS/CS/HB 1083, and its companion public records exemption legislation, CS/CS/HB 1085. Both bills now head to the Governor for signature. Together the bills establish the regulatory and enforcement framework to allow the storage of natural gas in previously produced oil reservoirs. Florida is dependent upon pipelines delivering natural gas from outside the state. Underground storage provides natural gas customers, local distribution companies, producers, and pipeline shippers with an inventory management tool, supply backup, and access to natural gas needed to avoid delivery disruptions. Presently, Florida has no regulatory provisions for permitting underground natural gas storage facilities.
Diane Carr, Richard Brightman, Frank Matthews, and Timothy Riley lobbied for the passage of these bills and worked closely with the bills’ sponsors, Senate President Pro Tempore Garrett Richter and Representative Dane Eagle, along with other interested parties, throughout the legislative process.