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Articles by Amy Green, Inside Climate News

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This story was originally published by Inside Climate News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Within a thicket of the Big Cypress National Preserve, established a half-century ago to protect the marshes and sloughs here that make up a vital part of the Florida Everglades, a series of wells extracts oil from more than two miles underground.

The oil field is situated deep within a pine forest of the preserve — the first in the country — which channels more than 40 percent of the water flowing into Everglades National Park and shelters iconic and imperiled species like the fabled ghost orchid and Florida panther, the official state animal. The wells penetrate thousands of feet beneath an underground aquifer, an important drinking water source, and draw up oil from the so-called Sunniland trend, a reserve stretching across southwest Florida from Miami to Fort Myers, although most of the reserve is situated beneath Big Cypress.

For decades, oil production has endur... Read more