Monday, October 13, 2014

State Commissioner: If You Oppose Fracking in North Carolina, Your Comment "Doesn't Count"

James Womack, currently serving as a hearing
officer on the N.C. Mining and Energy
Commission, says that if you think an
outright ban on fracking is the right thing
for North Carolina, your public comment
"doesn't count."

(Photo: IndyWeek/Jeremy M. Lange)
Common Dreams | Oct 11, 2014 | Jon Queally

“About half are repetitive ‘don’t frack’ comments,” said Commissioner James Womack. “They don’t really count, if you know what I mean.”

As North Caroline makes plans to open itself up to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, public comments are pouring into the Mining and Energy Commission as it prepares to make recommendations to lawmakers about the safety guidelines that should govern the controversial gas drilling in the state.

However, for those telling the commission that fracking shouldn't be approved at all—that there are no amount of safety measures that could curtail the threats from the inherently destructive practice—at least one of the members of the commission, James Womack, has a message in return: Those comments don't count.

According to the News & Observer, of the more than 100,000 that have so far come in expressing input on fracking, approximately half declare support for an outright ban on the controversial drilling that uses enormous amounts of water, sand, and a secret stew of toxic chemicals to obtain gas trapped in shale formations beneath the surface.

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