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There are two excellent reads over on the main Policy Watch site today that you should check out if you haven’t already.

#1 is this excellent and sobering analysis of North Carolina’s new fracking rules and the shortcomings therein by Sarah Kellogg of of the environmental advocacy group Appalachian Voices. As Kellogg writes before outlining the detailing the failures:

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) issued its final vote on proposed changes to the rules regulating the process of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (i.e. fracking) last Friday. As you’ve probably heard by now, the panel voted unanimously to approve the rule set.

What you may not know is that between July 14 and Sept. 30, the MEC received 217,000 public comments on more than 100 draft rules regarding safety standards for fracking in the state. More than 2,000 North Carolinians attended the commission’s four public hearings, and the vast majority of speakers opposed fracking and asked for stronger rules. The MEC’s response, written in a hearing officer’s report released two weeks ago, showed a considerable lack of consideration for public comments, a fact that disappointed concerned citizens and advocates across the state. Almost all of the recommendations fell short of what the public overwhelmingly asked for, and the few recommendations that strengthen the rules do so quite minimally.

Must read #2 is this news story by NC Policy Watch Reporter Sarah Ovaska about some equally troubling developments at a public charter school in western North Carolina:

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Uncategorized

Released today by the good people at the ACLU-NC:

ACLU Warns NC About General Assembly’s Use of
Sectarian Prayers to Open Meetings

Federal Appeals Court Recently Affirmed that Any Prayers Used in a Government Setting Must be Nonsectarian and Cannot Endorse One Particular Religion Over Others Read More

Uncategorized

As most people are aware by now, a great victory for the First Amendment occurred yesterday. It happened when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of last summer’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down Forsyth County’s practice of opening County Commissioners’ meetings with sectarian prayer.

Way to go ACLU of North Carolina!

If you’re harboring any questions about what the case was really about or what was decided, read the Court of Appeals’ excellent decision in which it spells out in great detail the explicit and overtly Christian nature of the many prayers in question.

This was the court’s excellent conclusion: Read More