North Carolina Fracking Law Vetoed, Veto Overturned

UPDATE 7-3-12 4 PM — Unfortunately, the environmentalist in the NC House were not able to sustain the veto the Governor issued over the weekend. As RandomAction notes, it appears that the deciding vote was an erroneous vote by a Representative from Charlotte- Becky Carney, who has been against fracking from the beginning.

When she tried to change her vote, the Majority Leader- Paul “Skip” Stam- cut off discussion on the bill and the vote was recorded as final. Now we must be vigilant of the Mining Commission as it builds the regulation around fracking. And if any policy is created that is not protective of rivers and communities, we will need to work to stop that policy in the General Assembly as the sponsors of the bill have said would be their intent. We will need to hold them to their word.

North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed S820, the North Carolina law that would allow fracking to happen in the state. The bill would have rushed to open the state up to fracking without the appropriate studies to assure that the clean waters of the state were protected from polluted fracking waste water.

It also put the control of the regulation of fracking in a board made up of “mining industry” experts- i.e. put the regulated entity in charge of the regulations with only a minority of seats going to outside interests. To read more about the flaws of the bill see our earlier post. Read the Governor’s veto message here [PDF].

The North Carolina General Assembly is attempting to override the veto, but they need a 3/5th majority to do so. The bill did not pass by that much in the North Carolina House. To say the least, there is a lot of arm twisting going on!