Environmentalists are pooling their resources to push back against a state legislature that has been easing up on regulations meant to protect the air, water and land.
Forming a new group calling itself the North Carolina Environmental Partnership, the advocates will launch a major TV ad campaign on Thursday targeting three state senators who voted for fracking in North Carolina. Each lives in a part of the state that could see the first fracking operations, once industry guidelines are in place.
Republican Senators Chad Barefoot, representing parts of Wake and Franklin counties; Wesley Meredith, Cumberland County; and Ronald Rabin, Harnett County, constitute what the ad calls “The Fracking Crew.”
“The Fracking Crew voted to put our families at risk,” the ad says.
The ad will run on every major TV station and cable channel in the Triangle and Fayetteville, and will be bolstered by a direct-mail campaign. Subsequent ads are planned over several more weeks.
“When legislators vote to threaten North Carolina’s drinking water, we’re going to make sure folks back home know about it,” Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Mary Maclean Asbill said in a statement. “We’re holding legislators accountable so they’ll have to look people in the eye and explain why they voted against clean water.”
Besides the SELC, the group is comprised of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the N.C. Conservation Network, the Haw River Assembly, Waterkeepers Carolinas, the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, the Western North Carolina Alliance and the Waterkeepers Alliance.