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 For immediate release July 3, 2012

Contact: Dan Crawford, Director of Governmental Relations, NC League of Conservation Voters, dan@nclcv.org, 919-839-0020 or (c)919-539-1422.

RALEIGH – The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) announced today it is rescinding its “Rising Star” award given to Rep. Susi Hamilton on June 20th. The award was given to Hamilton for her pro-environmental record in her first term as a legislator at NCLCV’s annual Green Tie Award dinner in Raleigh. Representative Hamilton voted to override Governor Beverly Perdue’s courageous veto of SB 820, an ill-conceived, controversial bill which would allow fracking in North Carolina without insuring the proper safeguards to protect public health, drinking water, and property rights. Read More

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Environmental protection advocates have released a pair of letters signed, respectively, by 44 business owners and 33 elected officials from areas with shale gas deposits calling on Governor Perdue to veto the controversial fracking legalization bill.

According to a statement issued by the NC Sierra Club and Clean Water for North Carolina: Read More

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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. Read More

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Environmentalists say the fracking bill passed Thursday by the NC House does not allow sufficient time to develop rules to ensure families and communities will be protected from the risks associated with natural gas development.

Jane Preyer, director of the Southeast office of the Environmental Defense Fund, calls the timeline set out in Senate Bill 820 both arbitrary and irresponsible:

“The new law does not give agencies time, staff or money to know the facts and develop responsible policies.  This is a new industry for North Carolina.  State agencies are being forced to write regulations in the dark,” said Preyer.  “North Carolina must not write regulations without facts on impacts to communities, the environment and public health.  Setting 2014 as a deadline is arbitrary and irresponsible.  Geologists say gas resources here are modest and will not attract industry interest for years, so it makes no sense for the legislature to race this fast on such a big decision for the state.”

House Democrats urged their Republican colleagues to allow more time for study, to create better consumer protections for landowners.

But McDowell County Republican Rep. Mitch Gillespie made it clear compromise was not in the cards:

“What my father told me one time, he says, ‘You can go and give and compromise, but there comes a point where you have to stop.’ And so I have personally reached that point,” said Gillespie, urging his Republican colleagues to vote down any amendment offered to his bill.

The NC House voted 66-43 to pass S 820, which now returns to the Senate to concur with House changes.

To listen to the tone of Thursday’s debate, click below:

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More distasteful sausage was ground at the General Assembly this morning — this time in the House Committee on (Pillaging the) Environment. As reported in many places, the subject was fracking and the apparently irresistable move to get a law on the books legalizing the practice in North Carolina for the first time.

The committee meeting was notable and disheartening for a number of reasons –

  • the lack of genuine debate and dialogue, Read More