From an editorial Friday in the Fayetteville Observer:
We can’t recall seeing this kind of concern about a North Carolina environmental issue.
We hope lawmakers are taking note, because it’s clear that this state’s residents – who are also voters – are deeply concerned about fracking.
The state’s Mining and Energy Commission has been swamped with public comments on the standards it’s writing for shale-gas drilling. Commission members held four public hearings on the regulations in August and September, all playing to a full house. The flood of comments may total as many as 200,000 – so many that the commission may not have space to post all of them on its website.
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A recent study by Duke University scientists found that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, does not itself pose a great pollution threat, but that faulty well casings closer to the surface could be a danger.
The message to the mining commission, and to the General Assembly, is that we need the strongest possible standards for well safety and enough inspectors to enforce those standards.
We know our elected leaders are determined to embrace fracking. We hope they’re equally determined to do it right.