Raleigh throwing fracking under the bus?

It’s looking like quite a bipartisan effort.

The North Carolina Oil & Gas Commission is set to finally hold its FIRST meeting ever in Sanford on Wednesday, September 20th.   Partially, I’m told, the meeting will deal with ordinances passed by Lee and Chatham county leaders in opposition to fracking in their jurisdictions. 

I spoke with a few sources in the know about this subject.  They tell me state government authorities — for the last two years — have been less than helpful in assisting the commission, which was established by the legislature to oversee fracking. I am told the commission has struggled in getting help from state authorities for things as simple as meeting space and meeting announcements. 

I am told the Department of Environmental Quality has eliminated the staff initially set aside to support the commission’s work. I am also told the DEQ Secretary is ignoring inquiries from commission figures and local residents about the commission and its future

I am also told that Attorney General Josh Stein and his team are not being very helpful to the commission either.   (Is that anti-Semitic, Rob?)

Figures like Bob Rucho, Buck Newton, Mike Hager, and Andrew Brock were all key players on Jones Street in getting the ball rolling on fracking and its regulatory infrastructure.  But they are all gone now.

Who will stand up and support this commission and its work — which is all based on the law of the land passed by the General Assembly?

So many folks in the majority on Jones Street sing the praises of solar and wind power.  But they’re all being mighty quiet on fracking.  Perhaps the fracking lobbyists don’t pay as well as the solar and wind power lobbyists do. 

 

 

5 comments for “Raleigh throwing fracking under the bus?

  1. Doug
    September 15, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I am not sure there is really that much potential for fracking in the state. We do not really have a lot of the geography that seems to be associated with the oil production.

    That being said, wind and solar boondoggles are an even worse waste of the taxpayer money that does the most damage to the poor in the service to a fake environmental agenda.

  2. GUWonder
    September 16, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Fracking REDUCES energy costs to citizens while wind and solar RAISE energy costs to consumers. If our legislators were looking out for the interests of the people, instead of the interests of the special interests who shamelessly bribe them with money, it would be a no brainer which of these strategies is right for North Carolina.

    That said, our citizens should NOT be forced by state government to subsidize ANY form of energy production either as taxpayers or ratepayers. We need a free market in energy as the state GOP platform calls for, and we need legislators who will follow Republican principles instead of the principles of Obama, Gore, Steyer, and Soros, and we need to use the primaries to make some significant changes in our GOP delegation.

  3. richard manyes
    September 18, 2017 at 5:24 am

    Actually, Jim Womack was remiss years ago in allowing Amy Pickle – a very liberal anti-fossil fuel Duke instructor to essentially run the rule-making part of this commission when he was chairman. The result of Amy’s work was the country’s most stringent set of hydraulic fracturing rules here in NC.

    • Jim Womack
      September 19, 2017 at 7:12 pm

      I respect Richard’s comments, but I disagree with his premise. Mrs. Pickle was a Purdue appointee, but she was a great team player and a superb counter-balance to some of us more aggressive pro-fossil fuel types. I was not the MEC Chairman when nominees were selected for the hearings, so I was not responsible for her seelction. In fact, I volunteered to run all four of the hearings and was told I could manage only the one in Sanford.. Regardless, Mrs. Pickle did a magnificent job at running the one hearing she was in charge of. She also did superb work, putting together the summary report on all of our work in the MEC. She probably labored over 200 hours putting that report together. It is one of the best energy reports ever produced in the country. Several oil and gas producing state officials have told NC MEC commissioners that NC rules (in the aggregate) are the finest state rules anywhere. Now, if only we could get DEQ, the AG, and the Governor to obey the law and let the Oil & Gas Commission do its work. I’d hate to think we have to wait until January 2019, when Dan Forest is sworn in as Governor, to get the Oil & Gas Commission back on track.

    • Jim Womack
      September 19, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      One follow-up to Richard- Amy was Chairman of the MEC Rules subcommittee, which was NOT the rule-making part of the MEC. She was the subject matter expert in framing the rule-set, and in ensuring the rules coming out of the substantive committees were compliant with state OAH requirements. So, she was more or less the copy editor. Her committee was responsible for writing very few rules from scratch (mostly administrative rules). And, in the end, all rules were intensively debated, modified and approved by the full 13 members of the commission, most of whom were appointed by the Republican legislative leaders and Gov. McCrory.

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