It is time to call for a moratorium on fracking in North Carolina.
Currently, we can expect permits for fracking to begin to be issued in March of 2015. This came out of legislation in the last session of the General Assembly, over the objection of many environmentalists.
But now the environmentalists have a more immediate example of regulations gone awry in Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds and their many leaks into our waterways and rivers. No one know how long it will take to actually remove the contaminants from waters and stream beds, or if that can be done. No one really knows if these spills will seep into our ground waters and acquifers. We do know that poor regulations, and specific legislation to limit those regulations, allowed this to happen.
Our own Governor and his General Assembly chose corporate profits over the needs of our people. They cannot now be trusted to protect us from the potential dangers fracking can do not only to our waters but our landscapes.
A large part of North Carolina’s economy is based on tourism--millions are spent here yearly by beach-goers. Back in the late 1990‘s, Hurricane Floyd raised bacteria counts in our waterways, resulting in the closing of several beaches. One fracking disaster, on land or at sea, could decimate our economy for years to come. Getting BP to ante up for the lost income of folks along the Gulf Coast has been a struggle. Are we, as a state, really in a position to provide for lost jobs and lost income on our coast line? We’ve cut our unemployment insurance program and left our poor bereft of Medicaid coverage. We are totally unprepared to deal with even a minor fracking accident.
Strict regulations are called for to protect our state from the worst aspects of fracking. At least we KNOW what chemicals have leaked from the coal ash ponds into our waters; the way rules are shaping up, we won’t even have the right to know what chemicals are being used in the fracking process. If an ambulance is called to an accident at a fracking site, the EMT’s won’t even know what chemicals the injured have been exposed to.
Americans have long felt that the purpose of government was to protect it’s citizens. Too often, we allow the thought to prevail that such ‘protection’ is limited to maintaining an armed force to prevent invasion. But we also rely upon government to protect us from the ravages of greed, wielded by corporations as an excuse for maintaining profits at the expense everything else. The coal ash spill is a blatant example of corporate greed at the expense of others. We cannot allow fracking to further destroy our environment and our state. It is time for a moratorium on fracking. Now.