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Dome: Poll shows opposition to fracking, support for environmental regs

A new poll by an environmental group shows most North Carolinians oppose fracking, favor clean energy and overwhelmingly think current regulations are sufficient or should be stronger.

“From the mountains to the beaches, it’s clear that North Carolinians take special pride in their state, and see state environmental safeguards as protecting our heritage and ensuring that our children can enjoy the Carolina we know and love,” said Natural Resources Defense Council senior attorney Luis Martinez of Asheville, in a statement.

The poll will be publicly released on Monday.

Among its findings:

• 61 percent say environmental standards and regulatory safeguards do more good than harm.

• More than 75 percent say current standards and safeguards are “about right” or “too weak.” Only 13 percent say they are too strong.

• 55 percent oppose fracking. Opposition was strongest in the Triangle, with 59 percent against it. In Charlotte, 53 percent oppose; in the Triad, 48 percent oppose; in the easternmost and westernmost parts of the state, 55 percent oppose.

• Rating the politicians: 44 percent disapprove of the job the state legislature is doing, while 40 percent approve. Gov. Pat McCrory received a 47 percent approval rating, and a 33 percent disapproval rating.

The telephone poll was conducted June 25-30 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

McCrory answers The Times

Last week a New York Times editorial slammed the Republican takeover of North Carolina government, saying that since McCrory took office Republicans have dismantled the state’s progressive reputation. On Saturday, the Times published McCrory’s letter to the editor in response:

“The North Carolina I’m leading today is on a powerful comeback. After just six months of problem-solving leadership and making the tough decisions that we were elected to do, there is significant movement on vital reforms to tax policy, energy, education, economic development and transportation.

“While it may not be apparent to the very liberal worldview of The Times, North Carolina’s new focus on reform is paying off. Already companies have announced plans to create more than 9,300 jobs in the state and invest more than $1.1 billion in facilities. The jet engine manufacturer GE Aviation is bringing its advanced materials production to a new facility near Asheville.

“My reforms have stepped on the toes of the political right and the left who are vested in the old ways of doing business. But in my 14 years as mayor of Charlotte, I learned that it didn’t matter whether a good idea came from a Republican or a Democrat. What mattered was whether it solved a problem and did so at a cost taxpayers could afford.

“This collaborative, problem-solving, focused leadership transformed Charlotte from a regional hub into a leading national metropolitan center.

“This focus on pragmatic problem-solving is now fueling North Carolina’s comeback to prosperity as well.”

Governor’s image gets around

It was bound to happen.

Someone started a parody Twitter account that plays off McCrory’s claim that he has mingled with protesters in Raleigh.

Patwasthere ( https://twitter.com/patwasthere) is a gathering place for photoshopped images that put McCrory – Zelig-like – in important spots.

Not only does one image put McCrory in the Legislative Building next to Rev. William Barber of the NAACP during a “Moral Monday” protest, others have McCrory on the balcony with Prince William and Kate after their wedding, and standing in front of Clint Eastwood during last year’s Republican National Convention while Eastwood addresses the empty chair.

Staff writers Craig Jarvis and Lynn Bonner

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

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