North Carolinan residents must not let this happen. N.C. Mining and Energy Commission is obviously an industry group, as is evidenced not only by its title but by its history. Ray Covington stands to personally gain from fracking his land and should not be heading a "study group." Ohio and other states in the "study" are experiencing economic hardship, which in any case should not be the basis for North Carolina's decision. The health harms of fracking are already legion, growing, and well documented. See the List of the Harmed for a short list (it is not comprehensive): http://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/ .
Once your land is in the "possession" (because essentially it is, once you lease or are FORCED to have this polluting, dangerous heavy industry on your land or to live with it because your neighbors think it's going to bring them untold riches) of the industry, you LOSE ALL CONTROL over how your own land is used. If you wanted to put in a Christmas tree farm, say, or a blueberry U-pick field, or a shed or a barn, on a spot of your property where the frackers think they can get the most bang for their buck, tough luck.
Once your water well is contaminated -- and scores if not hundreds have been in Pennsylvania alone -- your land is worthless. One farmer whose property was valued at $450,000 before drilling crisscrossed his fields with roads, clear-cut a huge chunk of his woods that he used for hunting, contaminated his farm pond in which he was raising catfish and another that was stocked with trout and bass, and contaminated his water well, got a total of $157,000 in royalties for the gas taken from under his now-destroyed land, and he is unable to sell the place because, well, who wants to live in an industrial zone with strange men coming on your property day and night, noise and pollution your new neighbors, 24/7, and no drinking water?
Sign on the dotted line and sign your rights away. This seems unAmerican, doesn't it? Well, it's the new American Way.
We in the Marcellus shale region (Ohio-West Virginia-Pennsylvania-New York), areas that like North Carolina are not historically fossil-fuel exploitation states, are reeling from the economic, health, food supply, water security, and air quality issues of fracking.
Please, North Carolina, wake up to this threat. Fight it with all your might.
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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