* Release from N.C. League of Conservation Voters
Sept. 26, 2014. On Friday, September 26, North Carolina League of Conservation hand delivered over 11,000 public comments to the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission – four days before the September 30 deadline. NCLCV has been engaged in an effort to contact concerned citizens during the public comment period on proposed fracking rules through an aggressive grassroots campaign, both online and on the ground.
“In less than two months, we’ve had conversations with thousands of everyday people across this great state. Over ten thousand people have joined our call for stronger rules. Each of these comments represents a North Carolinian who cares very deeply about what happens to their community,” said Aiden Graham, field director for NCLCV. “We call on the MEC today to heed the cries of North Carolinians across this state.”
“Part of our mission is to improve the quality of life in economically disenfranchised families. For us, fracking is a violation of environmental justice in the communities we serve,” said Melvin Montford, president of North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute. NCAPRI made over 5,000 calls this week alone to concerned citizens about fracking.
Also speaking at the event was Representative Duane Hall of Wake County. Rep. Hall emphasized he voted against fracking and continues to support that decision. He also commended the Mining and Energy Commission for the efforts taken so far with the rules process. According to him, “the risks are real and the tasks before the MEC are serious and difficult ones.”
The NC Mining and Energy Commission (MEC), the regulatory body empowered by the state legislature to oversee the regulation of fracking in North Carolina, sent its proposed rules governing fracking out for public hearing and comment. To encourage clear and effective public participation in the rulemaking process, NCLCV focused on two areas: permitting of proposed fracking wells and enforcement of pollution controls on fracking wells.
Field teams in Wake and Mecklenburg counties collected comments from the general public over a two month period. NCLCV’s goal was to have 10,000 North Carolinians submit comments to make sure that if fracking happens, it is done in the safest, most environmentally-conscious way possible.
North Carolina League of Conservation Voters is a pragmatic, nonpartisan, advocacy organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing North Carolina’s natural environment. For over 40 years, NCLCV has been turning environmental values into North Carolina priorities by helping to elect pro-conservation candidates and holding them accountable for their decisions that affect the environment.