Target: Thom Tillis, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives
Goal: Applaud efforts to maintain year-old fracking moratorium in North Carolina
A bill that would virtually repeal North Carolina’s fracking moratorium failed in the state House of Representatives recently. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process in which rock is fractured using pressurized liquid, primarily for the extraction of oil or gas. The moratorium on shale gas exploration will be kept in place for now, but many Republicans are intent upon speeding up the establishment of fracking in the state.
Senate Bill 127 would have repealed a prohibition on fracking permits, allowing them to be issued as of mid-2015. Critics of the bill say it would “essentially lift the state’s moratorium on fracking.” The legislation would have also decreased tax rates on oil and gas companies in an attempt to encourage statewide drilling activity. Some sources indicate that the fracking provisions in the bill were unknown to most House members “just 36 hours” before the vote. Apparently, these provisions were sneaked into legislation that originally would reconfigure the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
Rep. Mike Hager, a Republican, states that “the measure was just too controversial” to push through so close to the end of the legislative session. This is not the first time that the legislature has attempted to speed up fracking in the state; separate bills that failed to pass in 2013 contained a number of revisions to North Carolina’s year-old fracking law. For example, legislators attempted to directly lift the moratorium, allow fracking wastewater to be disposed underground, and even eliminate the oversight of landmen who sign drilling leases with state landowners.
Although the moratorium remains intact, it is clear that the state’s fracking policy remains highly divisive. It is important to note that the law that established the fracking moratorium in 2012 only passed by a single vote. Still, many House members are concerned with the possible hazards of fracking; until studies can confirm that the process is safe and effective, the moratorium should be kept in place. By signing this petition, you are applauding the state legislature’s efforts to maintain its young fracking ban.
Dear Speaker Tillis,
Senate Bill 127, which some argued would have virtually repealed your state’s fracking moratorium, failed in the state House of Representatives recently. Although the moratorium on shale gas exploration will remain for now, many legislators desire to speed up the establishment of fracking in your state.
Some sources indicate that the fracking provisions in the bill were unknown to most House members just 36 hours before the vote. Apparently, these provisions were sneaked into the legislation. While these tactics are not surprising, this does not make them any less unacceptable.
Furthermore, many House members are concerned about the safety of fracking; they see the moratorium as a pledge to citizens that the practice would not go ahead without ending the ban. Yet, this is not the first time that state politicians have attempted to speed up fracking; separate bills that failed to pass in 2013 contained a number of revisions to your state’s year-old fracking law.
Although the moratorium remains intact, it is clear that your state’s fracking policy remains highly divisive. Until studies can confirm that the process is safe and effective, the ban should be kept in place. Roundabout methods to encourage fracking should be avoided. I am applauding the state legislature’s current efforts to maintain your young fracking ban.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: greensefa via Flickr