Target: North Carolina Governor Pat McCroy
Goal: Repeal bill that punishes individuals who reveal the chemicals used in the controversial oil and gas extraction process known as fracking
The high-polluting process of oil and gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” continues to spread in the United States. As a result 20 states require all fracking companies to disclose the chemicals used in their drilling processes. However North Carolina appears to be heading in the opposite direction. A new bill recently signed into law punishes those who reveal the chemicals used in the fracking process. There is a great deal of evidence to show that the dangerous consequences of fracking are largely the result of the chemicals used in the process.
Three Republican senators in North Carolina introduced the bill which imposes a felony charge on anyone who discloses confidential information about fracking chemicals. The bill only allows firefighters and medical professions to get the information when and where there is an emergency. However regular individuals who expose information about fracking chemicals face steep fines and could spend several months in prison. Emergency responders will also have to sign a confidentiality agreement, and the punishment for leaking this information has not been determined.
Energy companies are arguing that the information regarding fracking chemicals should be protected as trade secrets and kept confidential, but health and environmental advocates have largely argued against such logic. Many people who live near land that’s been fracked have reported feeling ill from chemical residues in the air and water. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, rashes and damage to the central nervous system. Others have found their tap water to smell or look funny, and yet others have been able to light their water on fire.
North Carolina has temporarily banned fracking in the state until legislators can decide on regulations. Fracking has already caused a lot of harm to local environment and wildlife. It has polluted our water, poisoned our land, and been linked to increased earthquake activity. Stop the persecution of people attempting to expose the real dangers of fracking, and demand that this bill be repealed.
Dear Governor McCroy,
Recently your state passed a bill that punishes those who reveal information regarding fracking chemicals to the public. The penalty for doing so is a felony conviction. While I understand that your state is trying to establish regulations for fracking, this bill is a step in the wrong direction.
The secrecy of these chemicals is defended as a trade secret, however the trade itself has already caused a lot of harm to wildlife, the environment, and to human health. I am sure you are aware of the consequences of exposure to these chemicals. It is backwards thinking to punish those who identify potentially dangerous chemicals and want to protect the public from exposure to them. I urge you to repeal this counterproductive bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: CREDO via Flickr