And They're Back!

Image via Vanity Fair
With the return of our General Assembly to session yesterday, the drama is already unfolding over one of their favorite questions: to frack or not to frack? At this point, the outlook is pretty grim, and the question has been replaced with "when to frack?" John Murawksi's article in the News and Observer this morning gives a good overview of the situation, but it's basically this:

Sen. Bob Rucho (R) has proposed a bill to legalize fracking by mid-2014, but many in the Assembly, including Rep. Mitch Gillespie (R) think the date of legalization shouldn't be set yet. Gillespie will push for his own version of the legislation in the next few days. Apparently, this new version will include "scores of public safeguards and environmental protections."

One thing Murawski's article states quite clearly, though, is that both Rucho and Gillespie "agree that fracking can be done safely here." Our question is--how can they be so sure? The Sierra Club's own Molly Diggins is also quoted in the article expressing this concern, pointing out that "no state has garnered widespread recognition for doing the best job." After all, how could we forget about this?

Image via CBS News
The point is, why are our legislators so set on fracking when there are other (renewable) energy options available? In fact, North Carolina has better shallow-water wind resources than any other state on the Atlantic coast. Whether our legislators decide to legalize fracking within the next few years or wait a little longer, they've got to consider the big questions:

Why would fracking in North Carolina be safer than in any other state?

How many jobs would fracking really create? 

Even with the supposed "safeguards and environmental protections," why opt for a nonrenewable energy source when the coast of North Carolina is already an ideal location for offshore wind energy?

And don't forget--if you want the opportunity to ask your legislators these questions yourself, the Sierra Club will be hosting a lobby night this Monday at 6:30pm!

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