Raleigh—Governor Bev Perdue has vetoed the controversial fracking bill that would pave the way for gas drilling as soon as 2014. Environment North Carolina praised the governor's move.
"Gov. Perdue stood up for our drinking water today," said Elizabeth Ouzts, Environment North Carolina State Director. "She stood up for our air quality and our rural landscapes, and we're enormously grateful.
Fracking, short for “hydraulic fracturing,” is the process by which water, sand, and toxic chemicals are injected into wells at high pressure in order to extract shale gas. State laws currently prohibit two key aspects of the technology: horizontal drilling and injecting chemicals into the ground. Senate Bill 820 lifts those prohibitions and tasks a new, industry-influenced commission with developing rules that could allow the practice as soon as 2014.
A 484-page analysis from the state’s environmental agency documents the extent to which fracking has contaminated water supplies and waterways around the country, and calls for seven additional studies, none of which are addressed by the bill.
In the ten days since the bill reached the governor’s desk, she’d received thousands of emails, hundreds of phone calls, and letters from dozens of small businesses, local, and state elected officials urging her to veto the measure. Environment North Carolina and others argued that Sen. Rucho’s bill fell far short of the Executive Order the governor issued on fracking in May.
Clean water advocates are now turning their attention back to the house, where the measure did not receive enough initial votes to override a veto.
“We’re urging representatives to stand up for the state’s waters and sustain the Governor’s veto,” said Ouzts.