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Fast-track fracking beyond the ability of regulators to handle

Regardless of what one thinks about the legislation to fast-track the legalization of fracking in North Carolina, you would think that since the bill calls for the state to embark upon an enormously ambitious regulatory/rule-making process over the next several months, lawmakers would want to actually have state employees in place to make it happen.

You would think.

But, of course, we’re not talking about a rational situation here; we’re talking about the Alice-in-Wonderland world of the 2012 General Assembly.

On Wednesday of this week, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, sent a letter to legislative leaders making plain that the department simply cannot do what’s being asked of it with present staff and funding. You can read the letter by clicking here.

Here is what the General Assembly has done in response to the Department’s expression of concern: zip, bupkus, nothing.

All in all, it’s compelling evidence that all of this talk from the pro-fracking crowd about wanting rigorous environmental and consumer protection is just that: dishonest, disingenuous and downright disgusting talk.

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