Clark Cramer: Consider cleanups

March 9, 2013 

Consider cleanups

A business-driven rush to fracking across a 92-square-mile area of our state (plus a new proposal to dump waste under our coastal plain) should give North Carolinians great pause. One aspect of Senate Bill 76 is the setting aside of a mere $50 million for potential cleanup of spills or contamination.

Putting that number in perspective: Cleanup of the infamous Love Canal cost $400 million and took 21 years. That was only 70 acres and affected 900 families. Consider the BP oil spill – more than $40 billion has been spent on that one!

What would it cost to clean up a polluted aquifer in North Carolina? Is it even feasible? What happens to the thousands of people whose lives could be affected and property rendered worthless for years or decades?

Consider life without ready access to drinkable water. How can that possibly be worth the risk – especially knowing North Carolina’s marginal geology and projected limited gas reserves likely to be found?

I have little doubt that there is a relatively small group of people looking to make a lot of fast money here, but how can they possibly be made accountable for the potential damage to our economy?

Clark Cramer


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