Friday fracking video


MEC recommendations a mixed bag

And here's a few stinky parts of said bag:

The draft bill also changes the area of “presumptive liability” around horizontal drilling well heads from 5000 feet to 2600 feet. Under the current law, the mining operator has to either conduct or pay for testing of wells and waters within that area before and after drilling. Shrinking the area cuts down on the number of tests operators would be responsible for.

Commission co-chairman Rep. Mike Hager insisted the change would actually increase, not decrease, the testing buffer area. "You know, it was actually 5000 feet diameter" in the original law, he told reporters. The change makes it a 2,600 foot radius around the well head. "We went actually a little extra to get to that half-mile range," he said. "Those are some of the toughest rules in the nation."

But stakeholders from the Southern Environmental Law Center to MEC Chairman Jim Womack disagreed with Hager, noting that the original law doesn't say "diameter," and had instead been interpreted as a 5000-foot radius. Under that reading, the change would diminish the buffer area.

Another key change is already causing consternation among local government groups. The recommended bill would essentially ban city or county governments from taking any action or passing any laws to prohibit fracking or impose conditions on the process. "It really hamstrings local governments almost completely with regard to drafting ordinances that are just land-use ordinances, really," Asbill noted. "We don't think that's a good idea."

The ban also extends to counties’ ability to levy taxes on drilling operations. The draft bill prohibits county and cities governments from charging any type of tax except property tax on any aspect of fracking operations. It also bars cities and counties from collecting in any given year more than 108% of the preceding year’s property tax revenue.

Not that we needed confirmation, but Mike Hager is a jackass.

Mike Hager

Is a con man not to be believed. But y'all knew that.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014