Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How the GOP in Raleigh Operates

In 2012, and under the management of the new Republican majority in the General Assembly, North Carolina passed S820, which opened the state to fracking. Gov. Perdue vetoed the bill. The Republicans in the General Assembly, with some help from a few Democrats, over-rode the veto.

S820 contained some "safeguards" to protect the air and water of the state as well as the process, safeguards that were probably necessary to get the required votes to override the governor's veto.

That was then. This is now.

The NC Senate is busily doing away with those safeguards. Yesterday the Senate Commerce Committee held discussion on S76, which simply throws out the safeguards in the original fracking bill, to wit:
1. Removes the requirement that state lawmakers must approve rules before the first well can be drilled. 
2. Gives the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now under the direction of John Skvarla, a climate change denier and notorious science skeptic) the authority to start issuing permits on March 1, 2015, without the legislature's say-so. 
3. Removes the state geologist and water and air experts from the state Mining and Energy Commission. 
4. Allows drillers to inject production waste fluids back into the ground. 
5. Hands the Energy Policy Council to the "Energy Jobs Council," which involves firing and replacing everyone currently serving on that commission. 
6. Encourages offshore drilling exploration.
7. Repeals the law requiring "land men" to register with the state. 
8. Streamlines the permitting process to a single permit, removing checkpoints at which DENR could look for problems.
The fast-tracking of this destructive and highly risky form of gas drilling is one thing. Removing from the review process any scientific expertise for monitoring its effects is far worse. Worst of all is allowing "production waste fluids" to be injected back into the ground. That's been the source of water well pollution in Pennsylvania and other states.

Clearly, the new Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly, with the consent of their patsy, Gov. McCrory, can do any damn thing to the environment of the state that they damn well please. And this fracking risk pleases them very much. Sen. Buck Newton, R-Nash, told the Commerce Committee yesterday: "This bill is an effort to make sure that the industry understands that North Carolina is ready to do business – that we're moving forward, we want them here, we want their investment and we want them to create jobs."

When water wells are destroyed, they won't be saying that they wanted that, but clearly, at the moment, they don't give a good goddamn.

The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to vote on this abomination tomorrow. Then it will be on the schedule for full Senate approval anon. Senate member Dan Soucek's telephone number is (919) 733-5742.


Jeff said...

It's one tragic piece of legislation after another. But I notice their poll numbers, including McCrory's, are plunging like a rock.

Anonymous said...

The Repugs are "fracking idiots"

Anonymous said...

Which poll, Jeff?

Anonymous said...

Did you see the news clip on some towns that allowed fracking out west? Cannot find enough workers, average wages over $30.00 per hour, families buying homes and you are opposed to fracking? You are crazy! No documented evidence of problems makes me believe this is more bull with the left.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and you Bolsheviks are not any better. Both the Left and the Right are pushing the same agenda which results in totalitarian, centralized control.