Are We Fracking Crazy? Call/Email Your NC Representative Now!

Late yesterday, the House gave tentative approval to S 786, Energy Modernization Act.
The House version of the bill, as amended, joins the Senate in breaking the promise that the NCGA made to the public in 2012 that it would allow any permits to be issued for fracking until a regulatory program was in place, and the legislature voted to proceed with offering permits. The promise to have an affirmative legislative action (vote) after the rule adoption was intended to offer assurances that the legislature would not allow fracking to go forward in NC unless we had the best and strongest rules in the country.
S 786 also ties the hands of local government from taking usual and ordinary measures to limit where fracking can take place, etc.
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL YOUR HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE NOW and ask that they vote against S 786 (final vote will be at 1:00 pm tomorrow).
To find your representative, go to:  http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx
To learn more about today’s vote, go to WRAL:
Thanks!
Molly


Molly Diggins, State Director

NC Sierra Club
Thanks to Rep. Grier Martin! Support his call to action!

Rep. Grier Martin (D-Wake) on the House floor, May 28, 2014

 

 

URGENT – Stop the Rush to Frack NC

Fracking-chemicals-Graphic

North Carolina’s legislators are going back on their word. The fracking moratorium could be lifted as soon as tomorrow afternoon.
We need you to call and email your representative and tell him/her to keep the promise the House made in 2012 to have a vote on whether or not fracking is right for North Carolina and not act before the rules are finalized.
 
You can email his/her office with this link – http://goo.gl/5KGU2D
Two years ago, North Carolina’s lawmakers said that they would only consider lifting our fracking moratorium if rules were put in place to regulate this dangerous drilling practice. Now, these lawmakers are going back on their word and trying to lift the moratorium before any rules have even been created to protect public safety.
Thank you,
Zachary Keith
Lead Organizer
P.S.
Please tell your state legislators: fracking threatens our health, our communities, and the environment:  http://goo.gl/5KGU2D

Fracking is a controversial method of drilling for natural gas (learn more here). The bill recommended by the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy does nothing to directly address some of the top threats fracking would bring to our state, such as:

  • Compulsory pooling: This is when a fracking company can force an unwilling landowner to let the natural gas underneath their property be extracted against their will (if enough of their neighbors sign leases). The bill only asks for further study of this practice, but it instead should ban it.
  • Wastewater disposal: Fracking for natural gas creates huge volumes of polluted wastewater. State law already prohibits deep well injection of wastewater, but our state lacks standards for surface discharge of fracking wastewater (the other alternative), and the bill does nothing to address that looming problem.
  • Toxic air emissions: In other states, toxic air emissions from fracking operations have sickened families, destroyed property values, and appear to have caused higher birth defects among newborns nearby. The bill does nothing to address this toxic threat.1
  • Long-term well and property contamination: Contamination of neighbors’ wells and land can show up years after fracking operations have begun – sometimes even after a driller has closed up shop and left. Nothing in the proposed bill provides a solution for people whose health or properties are destroyed by long-term contamination.

Please tell your state Representative that fracking is the wrong choice for North Carolina: http://goo.gl/5KGU2D

NC Sierra Club Speaks Out on Crazy Fracking and Regulatory Reform Legislation

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club
Last week we saw a flurry of news hits and participation.
Here’s a look back.
The week started off with Foothills and Chapter Steering Committee member Gus Preschle getting a letter to the editor published in the Winston Salem Journal.
Your May 13 story “Foot traffic light for community meeting” was short and to the point. The writer states that foot traffic was largely nonexistent at Duke Energy’s community event in Eden. The three dozen smiling Duke Energy employees were probably wondering what it would take to get Duke Energy’s good name back.
Molly and Dustin were quoted in several news outlets on fracking.
North Carolina wants in on the fracking game (Washington Post) – But environmentalists say the legislature is reneging on a pledge it made in 2012 to allow the Mining and Energy Commission to establish a regulatory framework for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, a spokesman for North Carolina’s chapter of the Sierra Club, said the legislature should vote on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing after the commission’s rules are finalized.
 
Fracking: With drilling on horizon, opponents prepare for fight (Fayetteville Observer) – The North Carolina Sierra Club, which says fracking should not be allowed until the state has adopted adequate protections for ground water and drinking water, will use its political action committee to endorse candidates whom it views as friendly to the environment.
 
North Carolina Senate Passes Pro-Fracking Bill (Al Jazeera America) -This has left some North Carolinians confused. Why, they wonder, is the state’s Senate pushing so hard to lift a ban on gas drilling before its Mining and Energy Commission even has a chance to draft and receive comment on the rules that would regulate fracking in the state?  “In 2012 the Senate promised that the rules developed by the Mining and Energy Commission would be put in place before fracking was allowed,” said Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, the communications director of the North Carolina branch of the Sierra Club. 
 
Granting NC Fracking Permits in 2015 Has Senate OK (ABC 11) – Sierra Club appears in the ABC 11 video, not the AP story below.
 

The NC Chapter also contributed to a number of stories on the massive regulatory reform bill that started to move this week.

 
NC environmentalists worried by GOP-backed bill (AP) – Molly Diggins, the North Carolina director of the Sierra Club, said the group successfully fought a similar measure from becoming law in the state during the mid-1990s. A note on the ALEC webpage says the language was first approved by the organization’s board in 1996.  “This provision allows companies to hide information that may document knowing, intentional and ongoing violations,” Diggins said. “It gives companies the ability to avoid potential enforcement action, penalties and bad publicity. It would better be called the ‘environmental secrecy’ provision.”
NC Senate Pushes Forward Sweeping Regulatory Reform Bill (WUNC) – “There is the concern that removing the possibility of getting in trouble as long as they [industries or polluters] clean up, as long as they report it, will create questions as far as if best practices are going to be kept in place,” says David Chicurel-Bayard of the Sierra’s Club North Carolina Chapter.
Regulatory reform heads for Senate floor (WRAL) – One provision would allow regulated businesses to avoid civil fines or penalties for a leak or spill as long as they report it and correct it. Molly Diggins with the North Carolina Sierra Club says that’s a return to the 1990s, when regulatory enforcement was far more lax. As written, Diggins says, “It arguably would allow Duke Energy, if they did voluntary site cleanups and inspections, to have that information be confidential and to get blanket immunity from fines.”
Bill Would Restrict Permit Challenges (Coastal Review) – Molly Diggins, director of the N.C. chapter of the Sierra Club, said the changes would effectively prevent environmental groups and others from challenging permits issued to heavy industries, like Titan America. The company wants to build a controversial cement plant near Wilmington. It received a state air permit, but a coalition of groups, including the N.C. Coastal Federation, challenged the permit, claiming the company wasn’t reducing emissions to the levels required by federal law.  “The challenge to Titan could not have gone forward under this provision,” Diggins said.
 
Dustin Chicurel-Bayard
Communications Director, NC Sierra Club

Act Today – The Senate could approve Keystone XL tomorrow

Keystone XL Urgent Senate Vote: Take action!

Tell your senators:

“The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is all risk and no reward for America. With climate change already harming our communities and pocketbooks across America now is the time for clean energy, not expansion of dirty energy such as tar sands. I urge you to stand against Keystone XL.”

Add your voice:

Take Action!

Dear Friends,

The Senate may vote as early as tomorrow to force the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and reports suggest it could come down to a few votes.

We can’t let a group of senators in the pocket of Big Oil approve this pipeline. Send a message to your senators right now to tell them to say NO to KXL!

Approving Keystone XL would open the floodgates of climate-killing tar sands crude flowing through the U.S. It would ensure more disastrous oil spills, threaten sources of drinking water for millions, disrupt wildlife, and increase rates of cancer and other health problems in Canada and in refinery communities here in the United States.

Keystone XL is all risk and no reward.

If you have any doubt who these pro-pipeline senators are working for, consider this: the senators who are supporting this bill have received $21 million in contributions from Big Oil. On average, each cosponsor of the bill has received roughly $375,000 from the oil industry.1

Take a moment to remind your senators that our climate, our land, our water and our health are not for sale to Big Oil. Urge them to reject this attempt to hijack the review process and approve Keystone XL!

Together, we’ve kept Keystone XL from being built for five years — keeping more than 200 million metric tons of carbon pollution out of the atmosphere to date. We’ve come too far to have Big Oil write a fat check and buy the approval of this dirty tar sands pipeline from the U.S. Senate.

It’s important that your senators hear from you right now. Take a minute right now to stop the approval of Keystone XL.

Thanks for all you do for the environment,

Michael Marx
Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director

P.S. Amplify your voice by forwarding a copy of this message to five of your friends and family and let them know how they can help stop Keystone XL. Or spread the word on social media with the share buttons below:

Share this action on Facebook | Share this action on Twitter

[1] Oil Change International, Oil money behind Keystone XL Senate bill breaks 20 million dollars, May 1, 2014

Take Action: Oppose Dirty Energy, Support Clean Energy

Speak out today!

Take Action: Stop a Flood of Natural Gas Exports Take Action: Stop a Flood of Natural Gas ExportsLegislation has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would rubberstamp exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the U.S. without any review or protections in place for the American public and our environment. This would essentially open the floodgates for natural gas exports, leading to more hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) here at home and more climate-disrupting pollution.

Take Action
Tell your senators and representative to oppose legislation that would rubberstamp liquefied natural gas exports!


Take Action: Tell the Senate to Protect Clean Energy Jobs Take Action: Tell the Senate to Protect Clean Energy Jobs

Last week, the Senate Finance committee moved to extend a package of critical clean energy tax credits, including the production tax credit for wind. We need the Senate to vote on this package immediately to ensure that clean, cheap, American-made clean energy continues to grow.

Take Action
Please tell your senators to bring the EXPIRE Act to the floor and vote yes.

Don’t Miss a Fracking Good Time! – March 27

Please make plans to take part in a powerful event this March 27th at 6:30 PM! Charlotte is one of only 2 North Carolina locations chosen for the national fracked communities tour. You’ll definitely want to hear the stories and learn how we can help protect our air, water, and lands.

STFA-NC-Tour-Meme-5

Can you join us on Thursday, March 27th at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte to hear how fracked communities are fighting back?

Fracking wells, industrial zones, and contaminated water. Those are the realities that people across the country are living with where fracking exists. We know that North Carolina isn’t worth the risk, and some friends are coming to town to help us fight back.

“Cautionary Tales of Fracked Communities,” a nationwide speakers tour, is coming to Charlotte to help us in our fight. It’s a chance to hear from people living in the shadow of gas rigs, and learn how they are fighting back.

Thursday March 27 at 6:30 PM

Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte

 

234 North Sharon Amity Road

Charlotte, NC 28211

Speakers will include:

  • Karen Feridun, a grassroots activist from Kutztown, PA who is fighting against fracking in her community. She helped convince the Pennsylvania Democratic party to add a Fracking Moratorium to their party platform.
  • Jill Wiener, small business owner turned activist from New York who has been leading the charge to keep fracking out of New York.
  • Robert Nehman, a father from Iowa whose life was turned upside down after frac sand mining came to his town

The second part of the meeting will be a training on how to meet with elected officials.

Together, we can keep fracking out of North Carolina, and ensure that the next series of cautionary tales aren’t from the Tarheel state.

See you there!

Fracking Tour Sponsors

James Taylor says fracking in Carolina is on his mind

James Taylor is speaking out against fracking in North Carolina! Sweet Baby James  is starring in TV spots for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the first step in what will be a major anti-fracking campaign between now and the next legislative session in May. NRDC and other environmental groups are working together to point out the dangers of fracking in North Carolina.

Mark your calendar for March 27! That’s when experts from across the country will be gathering in Charlotte for an educational and training event on Fracking. Details to follow!

Here’s more about NC Fracking from the Natural Resources Defense Council -

The North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory are on a headlong rush to open North Carolina to fracking. Already, at their direction, the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has approved rules that would let fracking companies some of the chemicals they pump into the ground secret, and the commission is paving the way to let these companies frack under North Carolinians’ property whether they want it or not.

What’s next? That depends on whether North Carolinians stand up to fracking, or stand aside and let out-of-state fracking companies determine the state’s future.

All across the country, the oil and gas industry is pushing the controversial practice of fracking without sufficient safeguards to protect Americans’ drinking water supplies, public health or the environment. If what’s happened in other states is any indication, North Carolina could soon face a host of potential problems — from air pollution to water contamination — as oil and gas companies roll in. Communities and individuals could lose their rights to determine for themselves whether and/or how this practice is allowed to move forward in their own backyards.

Polling shows most North Carolina residents oppose opening the state to fracking altogether — and for good reason. Reckless fracking is not the right path for North Carolina. The state’s moratorium on fracking was enacted for a reason. It should not be lifted until the state fully assesses the risks and determines how to truly protect North Carolinians against them.

* Sierra Club 2013 Year in Review

Thanks to everyone for the great food and fellowship last night at our monthly meeting! It was a great time to get together and reflect about our challenges and accomplishments in 2013. Again,  thanks to the many members, supporters and partner organizations that helped to make all this happen. Click below to see the presentation.

I hope that you’ll review it and think about the great work that we accomplished and how you’ll help to make a difference in 2014.

Enjoy!

2013 Year in ReviewCPG 2013 Year in Review

 

* A Keystone XL Thanksgiving Dinner

We have a lot to be thankful for – and we’re especially thankful that you’re one of millions of Americans who won’t buy what TransCanada is selling.

But some folks still don’t get it and are eating up the lies:

We know that Canadian tar sands oil isn’t for us. It’s dangerous, harmful and could be a disaster for our health and our environment.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Source: Re-post from NextGen Climate Action