Last updated: June 04. 2014 11:42AM - 341 Views

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was hand-delivered to the governor’s office on Monday by various environmental organizations, and was provided to The Anson Record by Pee Dee W.A.L.L.


Dear Governor McCrory:


We, the undersigned, want to express to you our deepest sense of outrage over the North Carolina General Assembly’s rushed passage of Senate Bill 786 on Thursday, and we ask you to veto this unjust and ill-considered legislation.


Fracking and gas development would bring threats to the water, air, land, and safety of those close to drilling, waste, and transportation operations. Further, it would bring disproportionate adverse impacts to the large number of low income residents, people of color, small landowners, renters and non-English speakers in the counties across the state where fossil fuels may be extracted from shale or other formations. Drilling, fracking, processing and pipelines could bring contamination of well water, toxic emissions to air, dangerous truck traffic and disruption of communities, and the State’s most vulnerable people won’t be able to afford to escape these impacts.


SB 786 prematurely lifted the 2012 moratorium on permitting fracking and horizontal drilling for fossil fuels, which had been reaffirmed by Senate Bill 76 in 2013. The moratorium was to remain in place until the rules were fully drafted by the Mining and Energy Commission, had undergone extensive public comment, and then were reviewed by the General Assembly. The legislature would then have been required to take an additional vote on whether the rules were adequate, and whether state agencies and funding levels were ready to implement a credible oil and gas regulatory program to protect the State’s health and natural resources. The Mining and Energy Commission is still in the process of writing those rules, so by lifting that moratorium prematurely, the General Assembly broke the promises of 2012 and 2013, and broke faith with the people of North Carolina. We also are deeply disturbed by the manner in which SB 786 rocketed through two committees as well as votes on second and third readings in the House of Representatives in less than three days, with only a single public comment. The House leadership trampled on the rights of citizens to express their views on this bill. There is no justification for such outright contempt for the public’s appropriate interest and input. The arrogant dismissal of the public’s concerns is a serious matter in all situations, but is of particular significance in this case given the potential for dangerous public health and environmental consequences which other states have experienced from fracking.


Finally, we are very much concerned over the provision in SB 786 that denies local governments their Constitutional right and obligation to protect the people and natural resources in their jurisdictions. Given the serious trouble that other states have experienced with fracking, every protection available to local jurisdictions under the North Carolina Constitution must be maintained, if not strengthened. As a former mayor, surely you must feel acutely the abuses such usurpation of local authority portends. With these things in mind, Governor McCrory, we again respectfully ask that you veto SB 786. The people of North Carolina deserve far better than this measure provides, and you, sir, have the authority to stop it. Please exercise your power and do so. Thank you.


Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

Hope Taylor, Clean Water for NC, Durham and Asheville

John Little, Community United Church of Christ Social Justice Ministry, Raleigh

Keely Wood, EnvironmentaLEE, Sanford

Renee Maas, Food and Water Watch, Durham

Elaine Chiosso, Haw RiverKeeper, Bynum

Mary Kerley, NoFackingInStokes, Danbury

Garrett Lagan, Occupy Western NC, Sylva

Denise Lee, Pee Dee Water, Air, Land and Lives, Wadesboro

George Matthis, RiverGuardian Foundation, Raleigh

Joe McDonald, Save Our Sandhills, Pinehurst

Nancy Holt, Sewage Sludge Action Network, Mebane

Ed Harris, Stand Your Ground Against Fracking, Lee County

Karen Bearden, 350.org Triangle, Raleigh

Lib Hutchby, Triangle Womens’ Internat’l League for Peace and Freedom, Triangle Area

Dean Naujoks, Yadkin RiverKeeper, Winston-Salem

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