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“Lawmakers break their pledges”: Advocates respond to fracking bill

This is from a statement released yesterday by the good people at the Environmental Defense Fund:

“The NC House is poised to approve S 786, the fracking bill, despite previous assurances to citizens to protect air and water quality and delay voting to issue permits until safety regulations are in place. It is premature for legislators to lift the prohibition on issuing permits for oil and gas drilling. Lawmakers should stick to the original plan: delay any vote on hydraulic fracturing until after the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) approves regulations that reflect community concerns about health and safety.

Lawmakers break their pledges.

The bill reneges on legislators’ promises to North Carolinians to conduct a thorough legislative review before taking any votes that would allow permitting for drilling. S 786 ignores the pledges by removing prohibitions on permitting before fully reviewing the completed regulatory program.

Rulemaking is far from complete.

The MEC is continuing to develop standards to protect our communities and environment from the impacts associated with oil and gas development, but the rule making process is far from complete. Later this summer North Carolinians have their first formal opportunity to evaluate the proposed regulations. Comments will almost certainly identify areas for improvement.

NC lacks standards for discharged wastewater. And ditto for air pollution.

A major concern that is currently unaddressed is water quality. Proposed rules mistakenly allow treated wastewater from oil and gas operations to be discharged into North Carolina’s rivers and streams. What’s troubling is that the state has no water quality standards for many of the contaminants in the wastewater. The MEC does not have the authority to establish water quality standards, and the legislature has not asked the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to establish standards. To make matters worse, North Carolina does not have air quality standards to protect communities from oil and gas operations. The MEC, EMC and Department of Environment & Natural Resources have not even started to develop any rules to protect the air we breathe.

Health care providers get choked by a gag rule.

Failing to learn from the experiences of other states, S 786 makes health care providers subject to a misdemeanor if they reveal trade secret fracking chemicals to their patients or other health professionals necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of a patient. This constraint may prevent complete and honest dialogue with patients, compromise patient care, and violate medical ethics and standards of professional practice.

One Comment

  1. Ronda Evans

    May 29, 2014 at 11:31 am

    It is time to see where your elected pledged their allegiance:
    PLEDGES AND MEMBERSHIPS AND WHAT THEY STOOD FOR.
    Republicans signed the “No New Taxes” or Anti-Tax Pledge by Grover Norquist. http://s3.amazonaws.com/atrfiles/files/files/060713-113thCongress%281%29.pdf
    Republicans (WA 04) signed the “No Climate Tax” pledge- http://www.noclimatetax.com/pledge-signatories/
    Republicans received NRA Funding to oppose gun safety laws: http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000000082
    Republicans member of National Organization for Marriage – against Marriage Equality and for Religious Freedom to legalize discrimination, which is against the constitution and justice for all. https://nationformarriage.org/
    Republicans –Member of ALEC – American Legislative Exchange Council http://www.alec.org/initiatives/federal-relations/u-s-house-of-representatives/
    Republicans votes according to ALEC “Model Bills”: http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed
    1. Worker and Consumer Rights Bills – voting no on minimum wage increase, trying to get rid of unions and pensions. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Worker_Rights_and_Consumer_Rights
    2. Obamacare –ALEC ‘s State Legislators Guide to Repealing ObamaCare http://www.scribd.com/doc/126789094/State-Legislators-Guide-to-Repealing-ObamaCare
    3. Tort Reform and Injured Americans bills. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Tort_Reform
    4. Privatizing Schools and Higher Education bills here. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Public_Education
    5. Health, Big Pharma, and Social Welfare bills here. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Human_Health
    6. Environment, Energy, and Agriculture bills here. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Environment,_Energy,_and_Agriculture
    7. Democracy, Voting, and Federal Relations bills here. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Democracy,_Voter_Rights,_and_Federal_Power
    8. Tax & Budget bills here. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Tax_Loopholes
    9. Guns, Prisons, Crime and Immigration bills here. http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/Guns,_Prisons,_Crime,_and_Immigration