On June 4, Gov. Pat McCrory held a ceremony to sign Senate Bill 786, the Energy Modernization Act. It was the unconditional surrender of our state’s green heritage to the petrochemical industry. The governor should have been ashamed to sign a bill that is the inverse of our state’s motto, “Esse Quam Videri.”
By allowing the petrochemical industry and its cronies to dictate the terms, the governor surrendered our mountains, beaches, rivers, streams, lakes and farmland to a rapacious and secretive industry, which refuses to let the public know the chemical composition of its fracking fluid and is consistently willing to avoid what we are all taught to do in kindergarten – clean up our own messes.
It’s as if the Dan River fiasco never occurred or tens of thousands of residents had never weighed in over the past four years on “fracking,” urging caution and reasonable due diligence. One can only wonder whether the documentary “Gasland” ever made the viewing list at the Governor’s Mansion or the General Assembly.
The bill was fast-tracked through the Senate and House, and it allows drilling permits to be issued 60 days after the state Mining and Energy Commission finalizes rules. Opponents said lawmakers broke their promise to review and approve the rules before a statewide suspension on drilling would be lifted.
They have clearly demonstrated why change is needed in Raleigh now.
Chairman, North Carolina Democratic Party