Fierce Public Opposition at Fracking Hearings
The News and Observer reports on the first in a series of fracking hearings that will take place across the state to finalize fracking rules in North Carolina. This meeting took place at NCSU and saw over 500 people attend to voice opinions on the proposed fracking rules. From their article,
Fracking foes booed, jeered, hissed, chanted, snickered, sang – and one even wept – at a Raleigh public hearing Wednesday to vent their frustration about proposed rules that would clear the way for shale gas exploration in North Carolina next year.
Around 500 people turned out in the middle of the day at the N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center for the first of four public hearings to hear comments about the proposed safety rules. Many warned of plummeting property values, radioactive waste, and dangerous chemicals leaching into aquifers and waterways.
The rules, drafted over the past two years by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, would regulate well shaft construction, chemical disclosure, water testing, site reclamation and other facets of energy production. North Carolina’s shale gas is concentrated in Lee, Moore and Chatham counties, but the amount won’t be known until energy companies begin exploratory drilling.
The legislature is set to lift the state’s fracking moratorium next year for exploration to get underway so the state can cash in on the shale gas boom transforming the nation’s energy landscape. Opponents warn the long-term environmental price of fracking will exceed any short-term economic benefits.
Over four hours Wednesday, speakers overwhelmingly denounced fracking, and dozens who didn’t speak displayed dire warnings on body sashes, signs and T-shirts. Many spoke right through their allotted time until they were cut off with a peremptory “Ma’am, your time is up.”
Here's the schedule for the rest of the public hearing meetings, including one tonight in Sanford:
Aug. 22, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Wicker Civic Center, Sanford (Lee County)
Aug. 25, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Rockingham County High School, Wentworth
Sept. 12, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Bardo Fine & Performing Arts Center, Cullowhee (Jackson County)