Gov. Perdue, veto the 'fracking' bill!

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“Fracking,” short for hydro-fracking, is a highly controversial method of extracting natural gas from shale rock formations — and with the help of our fine lawmakers in Raleigh, it could be coming here. Also called “horizontal drilling,” the Halliburton-invented method fractures deep rock formations with a highly toxic mix — the industry calls it its “secret sauce” — of water, various toxic  chemicals and sand. The main problems with fracking are 1.) it uses millions of gallons of water, which can hurt local water supplies and, in any case, have to be detoxified later, and 2.) it can open fractures to freshwater formations and wreak havoc on local water supplies. Large numbers of wells tainted by methane have been reported, as well as major accidents — including a well blowout in Pennsylvania that garnered a $400,000 fine after churning out toxic water and gas for 16 hours. The state of New York has essentially stopped all new fracking permits there out of fear for the water supply of millions. People complain of oily-tasting water coming from their taps within miles of fracking sites, and a video of a man in the vicinity of a fracking site lighting his tap water on fire went viral on the Internet.

A New York Times investigation showed that huge amounts of radioactive material have been found in water supplies near fracking sites, in addition to the smelly, flammable tap water mentioned above, and, oh by the way, a home in Cleveland, Ohio blew up.

In North Carolina, gas company buzzards are circling, and already buying up land in the central area of the state where shale deposits are located, even though, for now, fracking is illegal here. In a process that brings to mind the timber companies that raped the Appalachian mountains in the early 20th century, gas company “land men” are scouring the state for suckers, offering folks $3 or $4 dollars per acre, plus percentages from future development, while New York and Pennsylvania residents are offered $2,000 or $3,000 plus percentages. Needless to say, considering the current business-fellating mood of the General Assembly, lawmakers passed a bill to allow fracking in N.C. That bill, which was introduced by Mecklenburg senator Bob Rucho,  now sits on Gov. Perdue’s desk; she has until late tomorrow to sign it, veto it, or let it take effect without her input. The phone number for the governor’s Charlotte office is (704) 330-5290; her e-mail address is governor.office@nc.gov. Meanwhile, here’s the video of the guy lighting tap water on fire.

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