To the editor:
State Sen. Gene McLaurin’s recent vote against Senate Bill 786 to lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in North Carolina was a valid one.
Fracking allows the removal of natural gas from under the ground. McLaurin wants proper safeguards in place before the process is allowed.
The bill lifts the moratorium before rules and regulations for fracking are adopted.
McLaurin had offered an amendment to the bill to allow local governments to express concerns, but it failed to be attached to the bill.
On Friday, the Fayetteville Observer newspaper concluded a six-part series on fracking.
Even if you do not live near such operations, the series pointed out that should environmental issues arise, North Carolina taxpayers everywhere may have to pay for cleanup efforts in some way.
The Duke coal ash spill is just one example. In some way, we will all pay. Tax money has already been spent on just investigating it.
Environmentalists raised concerns recently over the Regulatory Reform Act of 2014, which encourages industries to self-report environmental violatiosn to the state, moving through the N.C. Senate.
One reason is that the state does not have enough regulators to do the checking. Apparently no effort is being made to increase the number of regulators.
All good intentions, until something goes wrong. That is one reason why legislators like McLaurin should be given more consideration when raising concerns.