Sold out: NC's Mining & Energy Commission serves the oil and gas industry, not the people

This joke would be funny if our health wasn't at risk:

Documents obtained by Greenpeace also reveal that the shale industry was close with one commissioner in particular: George Howard, the pro-fracking conservationist.

George Howard serves as vice chairman of the MEC, and as the chairman of the chemical disclosure committee, which is tasked with creating regulations for frack fluid and other fracking chemicals. He was appointed by North Carolina’s Senate President Pro-Tem Philip E. Berger to serve in one of two “conservation” slots on the MEC. Berger received $46,700 in campaign contributions from fracking interests between 2009 and 2011.

I really wish Phil Berger had decided to run for the US Senate. His corruption of the MEC by placing Howard in the "Conservationist" slot and all of the industry meddling that followed that appointment would have made for some exceptionally juicy campaign ads:

Documents obtained by Greenpeace include correspondence between George Howard and various representatives of the oil and gas industry during the creation of the first chemical disclosure bill. Howard had multiple meetings with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and spoke with high-ranking members of ANGA. Howard specifically requested help from EID, an oil and gas front group run by the PR firm FTI Consulting and funded by the fracking industry. Howard asked Steve Everley, the spokesman for EID and an FTI Consulting operative, to help him prepare for a MEC meeting on chemical disclosure.

Although George Howard met with and solicited information from multiple shale industry groups, one lobbyist was particularly influential. Bowen Heath, who represents Halliburton, Koch Industries and various other oil and gas interests for the lobbying firm McGuireWoods, had unparalleled access to the Commission. Emails reveal a chummy relationship between George Howard and Heath, who spent evenings together and went for beers in the afternoons.

Heath used that access to advocate for a fracking chemical disclosure system that allows generous exemptions for chemicals that companies deem “trade secrets.”

And I bet he's just tickled to death that Republicans bent over backwards so far they're willing to jail doctors and firefighters (not to mention regular citizens) just for uttering the names of chemicals outloud.

And once again, where the fuck are the Libertarians? You wonder why I make jokes about you and otherwise dismiss your blathering? Because something as simple as this, which is one of the most blatant attacks on personal liberty, just flies by outside your awareness. And you want unfettered ballot access? Go suck an egg.


Now a misdemeanor

Because of public outry, the bill has been pushed back to make disclosure of chemicals used in fracking a misdemeanor.

Still unacceptable in my book - it's no different than using the law to silence the Moral Monday protests.

I guess the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is "compromise" to the extremist Republicans that are opening certain orifices to oil and gas money.

It is unacceptable

And downright shameful, to boot. What should be a crime is trying to conceal the nature of chemicals pumped into our groundwater, and the GOP's aiding and abetting of that should be a crime as well.

All this, and we, NC, only

All this, and we, NC, only has about 5 years of oil in the ground...

These laws like...

....forced pooling, the inability for local governments to write laws to govern fracking and making it illegal to disclose fracking chemicals are all being put in place now to be modified and used against us on other issues in the future.....