Wed08272014

Last update11:20:04 PM

Font Size

Profile

Menu Style

Cpanel
 
Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Editorials Editorial: Governor Perdue's Statements Don't Add Up

Editorial: Governor Perdue's Statements Don't Add Up

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

Gov. Perdue's Statement on Fracking Override as posted on her website: “It’s disappointing that the leaders in General Assembly would allow fracking without ensuring that adequate protections will be in place for drinking water, landowners, county and municipal governments, and the health and the safety of families in North Carolina.  I hope the General Assembly will re-visit this issue and strengthen the safeguards before fracking begins.”
Perdue's response to the General Assembly overriding her veto of Senate Bill 820 would make sense if the legislation actually allowed fracking.
But it doesn't. Here's what a very important part of the legislation says: "Whereas, it is the intent of the General Assembly to authorize oil and gas exploration and development activities using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing treatments, but to prohibit the issuance of permits for these activities until such time as the General Assembly has determined that a modern regulatory program for the management of oil and gas exploration and development in the State and the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for that purpose has been fully established and takes legislative action to allow the issuance of permits..."
That bill says, "prohibit the issuance of permits for these activities until such time" as very detailed studies are completed and then after further review by the House and Senate leading to an eventual vote. A vote that could be yay or nay.
Perdue is extremely confused and can't understand the issue, or, she just never read the bill.
That would be the obvious reason. But she makes the issue  even more confusing.
In her letter of objection to the law when vetoing it late last month, Perdue - or one of her staff members - wrote the following: "I support hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" for natural gas, because I believe it can and should be part of a comprehensive mix of energy sources that will create jobs, reduce costs for businesses and families, and keep our economy growing."
That's right, she said, "I support hydraulic fracturing." Not only did she say it, she echoed the Republican stance on the issue.
But it gets better. She explained, "Before we "frack," however, we need strong safeguards in place that are specifically adapted to conditions in North Carolina."
She explained, "This bill does not do enough to ensure that adequate protections for our drinking water, landowners, county and municipal governments, and the health and safety of our families will be in place before fracking begins."
Perdue said she urged legislators to adopt a few changes to ensure strong protections and not rush to allow fracking without "proper safeguards."
She said then she would sign it into law.
Evidently the Governor didn't even read the bill. That's what it does. Requires detailed study of the issue and only then would it return for fresh, new consideration by
both parties in the General Assembly who would then have to vote on a new bill before any fracking permits could ever be issued.
The bill title actually sums it up. It states, " AN ACT to (1) RECONSTITUTE THE MINING COMMISSION AS THE MINING AND ENERGY COMMISSION, (2) REQUIRE THE Mining and Energy Commission and other regulatory agencies to DEVELOP A MODERN REGULATORY PROGRAM FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE state, including the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for that purpose, (3) authorize horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, but prohibit the issuance of permits for these activities pending subsequent legislative action, (4) enhance landowner and public protections related to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and (5) establish the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy."
The bill states: Whereas, it is the intent of the General Assembly to establish a modern regulatory program based on the recommendations of the final report and the following principles:
(1) Protection of public health and safety.
(2) Protection of public and private property.
(3) Protection and conservation of the State's air, water, and other natural resources.
(4) Promotion of economic development and expanded employment opportunities.
(5) Productive and efficient development of the State's oil and gas resources.