Editorial: Frack-friendly legislators turn a blind-eye to environmental worries

The Fayetteville Observer takes a group of legislators and their staffers to task for their visit this week to Arkansas to purportedly continue their investigation of the impact of hydraulic fracturing.

The editorial board writes in Friday’s paper that this trip was just another worrisome indication that lawmakers are “fully committed to fracking, but not to strict safeguards” for North Carolina’s environment:

‘The group would like us to believe it’s really an objective fact-finding mission. But it looks more like a setup. The dozen impartial investigators are meeting with Arkansas regulators and with a Houston-based petroleum-exploration company that was sued by some Pennsylvania residents who said its fracking operations contaminated their water supply and made them sick.Frack-free-400

That would be the same petroleum company that had a seat on the stakeholder group that made recommendations to this state for fracking regulations.

And what about the other side? Will our North Carolina fact-finders try to learn about problems fracking may have caused in Arkansas? Nope. State Sen. Bob Rucho of Charlotte told The News & Observer that the group is going to Arkansas to “learn how the system works.” Good choice, given that Arkansas has already had problems with fracking wastewater and may have spawned earthquakes by injecting it underground.

A Sierra Club spokeswoman got it about right when she said, “Arkansas doesn’t know what to do with its fracking wastewater, doesn’t respect landowners’ property rights and gives away taxpayer money to attract drillers. Should this be where North Carolina looks for best practices?”

But then, Rucho would see that as confirming what he already suspected: “We have enough environmental groups here.”

Not that he’s going to listen to them.

This trip follows the scenario of earlier legislative missions to fracking operations, which also emphasized listening to friendly regulators and the companies doing the gas exploration, and ignoring problems and the experts who can talk about them.

You can read the full editorial here.

7 Comments

  1. GOP Rules

    November 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    This is much ado about nothing. Even if they get to exploration of frackable oil and gas, it is likely to be so limited to be un-noticable. NC doesn’t exactly have a huge belt of the typical geologic formations that contain enough to make it economically viable. Best to just let the companies spend their money, and tax money to find that out.

    What we really need is the abiltiy to use our potential offshore resources. That is more likely to reap rewards.

  2. Jack

    November 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Un-noticeable except for those who use well water in the areas where fracking takes place.

  3. Alan

    November 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    But I have to keep repeating the same talking points my paymaster provides to me, otherwise I’ll lose this internship.

  4. LayintheSmakDown

    November 24, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Alan/ML,
    Good to see you admit it. I always thought you (in the singular) were one of the Watch’s employees. The last part of the truth finally comes out.

  5. Alan

    November 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    LSD,

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I have no affiliation with site,or organization whatsoever.

    I guess the sarcasm was wasted on you…

  6. GOP Rules

    November 25, 2013 at 10:04 am

    LSD,
    That is funny. One more nail in the coffin that is Alan/M/Paid Policy Watch Employee. She seems to be on the ropes and going down for the count.

  7. Civitas Sockpuppet #1

    November 25, 2013 at 10:20 am

    GOP Rules/LSD , you guys rock!