Jane EG Smith: Fracking study important

February 17, 2013 

Fracking study important

Comparing how we bring medicines to the market to how we are bringing new-to-North Carolina fracking to the market teaches us to the let the Mining and Energy Commission complete its work (“Bill would ease rules that guide fracking,” Feb. 13).

Imagine a promising new asthma drug is discovered in the lab. People with asthma need the treatment now and pharma money and jobs would follow. Why not start selling? Because of what we don’t know yet: What dose works; are there people who shouldn’t use it and is it toxic? Some drug leads are worth developing, others would be a disaster for patients and drug companies.

Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton is excited about the promise of fracking for N.C. jobs and the economy. But what we don’t know yet: How do we protect property rights of neighbors who choose not to lease their land; how to prioritize water allocation for fracking versus drinking; agriculture; industry; how will we ensure fracking fluids don’t pollute the water supply; how will we ensure safe disposal of used fluids; who pays for community infrastructure for fracking and its personnel and who cleans up after the well is dry?

House Speaker Thom Tillis is right to give the commission time to do its work.

Jane EG Smith


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