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Luis Martinez’s Blog

Join James Taylor in Standing Up to Reckless Fracking in North Carolina

Luis Martinez

Posted February 26, 2014 in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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This week independent researchers from Wake Forest University confirmed that 35 million gallons of toxic coal ash had spilled into the Dan River from the Duke Energy coal ash dump in Eden, North Carolina.  That makes it the third largest spill of coal ash ever in the United States.  Across our state there are another 13 of these giant coal ash dumps that have been leaking contamination into our water. 

Earlier this year, we all heard about the spill of 10,000 gallons of MCHM (a toxic chemical used in the production of coal) in West Virginia that left over 300,000 people without water.  The spill paralyzed whole communities, shutting down businesses and leaving families in a desperate search for sources of potable water.  A month after the spill, residents say that the odor from the chemical remains in the water and the truth is we don’t even know how dangerous the chemical is to our health.

There are still no estimates as to how long or how costly the clean-ups will be, but we can be certain they will require many years and many millions of dollars, without including the damage to the communities, their health, their air and their water.  These unfortunate events remind us just how important it is to get the rules right BEFORE risky energy development moves into our backyards. Fortunately, there’s one mess we have a chance to get ahead of in North Carolina—fracking. 

Just last week, we helped to release a new 30-second video, narrated by James Taylor -- a North Carolina native and NRDC Trustee -- about the rush to allow reckless fracking here.  As you read this, North Carolina’s Mining and Energy Commission is pushing to open the state up to fracking with weak regulations that will leave citizens vulnerable to air pollution, water contamination and other dangers. Under these rules, property owners could be forced to tolerate fracking (literally) in their own backyards, and against their wishes. Citizens would be kept in the dark about what chemicals are being injected into their property.  And without a plan for disposal, large volumes of waste water generated by fracking operations could end up in dumps next to rivers and streams or get injected underground, alongside our aquifers.

As we’ve seen fracking explode across the country, more and more alarms are going off about the dangers to communities affected by these operations.  The natural gas that is stored underground in North Carolina, if there is any, will not be going anywhere – there’s no sense in rushing ahead recklessly. The state should take the time to evaluate the risks, and determine whether and how to protect North Carolinians from falling victim to them.

Please join James in telling your state senators and representatives to protect North Carolina’s environment from reckless fracking.

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Comments

Will SanbornFeb 26 2014 09:13 PM

North Carolina’s Mining and Energy Commission is pushing to open the state up to fracking with weak regulations that will leave citizens vulnerable to air pollution, water contamination and other dangers. Under these rules, property owners could be forced to tolerate fracking (literally) in their own backyards, and against their wishes. Citizens would be kept in the dark about what chemicals are being injected into their property. And without a plan for disposal, large volumes of waste water generated by fracking operations could end up in dumps next to rivers and streams or get injected underground, alongside our aquifers.

As we’ve seen fracking explode across the country, more and more alarms are going off about the dangers to communities affected by these operations. The natural gas that is stored underground in North Carolina, if there is any, will not be going anywhere – there’s no sense in rushing ahead recklessly. The state should take the time to evaluate the risks, and determine whether and how to protect North Carolinians from falling victim to them.

Jason MooreFeb 27 2014 08:08 AM

My Wife and I were considering making a move to North Carolina until I heard that you recently lifted the Fracking ban... And now to hear that you are following other corrupt states by allowing the companies to bypass the clean water act by keeping the chemical cocktails secret... It's a very sad day when you have to start looking outside of the country to find a safe place to live...

Gerald QuindryFeb 27 2014 10:50 AM

Luis,
Can you show me a map -- from ANY reputable source -- that indicates that fracking is likely to occur in North Carolina? I reviewed data from the U,S. Energy Information Agency, and there appears zero potential for oil and gas development within that state. Or, are gas and oil company land men flocking to the state and acquiring leases? That would be the first step in development and there would be public records of leases signed. Show me one.

If you can't to either, then I'll put this in the same category as the Fox News annual "War on Christmas". Generate concern to increase the number of viewers (or readers), and raise the TV ratings (or contributions).

Comments are closed for this post.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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