To the Editor:
Republican Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, co-sponsored SB 786, which is now law.
• It fast tracked fracking in North Carolina. Fracking is a process of selecting some chemicals from a toxic group of about 600 types which are then mixed with about 1 million gallons of precious water, injected at up to 20,000 PSI into a well that laterally can extend a half mile in any direction to crack rock/shale to extract oil/gas. Your land could be a half mile away from the wellhead and these chemicals could be going under your homestead. Some of these chemicals are so toxic that state law prohibits public disclosure. You can learn more from publically disclosed info on the internet at Fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used/.
The wastewater from these wells is generally stored in holding ponds, but if they leak (and they will over time) then surface water could become unusable for human, animal, fish and plant life.
• This law does not protect us if big oil and gas companies demand that you give them access to your land using a forced pooling concept.
• North Carolina state parks are very vulnerable now to fracking access. National parks may be also. The pristine Needmore Tract in Macon/Swain County is at risk, as are others.
• If your deed does not include mineral rights then private companies can drill on your property.
• What happens to the value of your land if it becomes polluted or if you wish to sell and are within a half mile of a fracking well? When will you know if your water is contaminated?
• In West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, a gas pipeline by Dominion Resources is beginning to be surveyed for a 100-foot right of way through national and state parks as well as private property, and they can force private property owners to sell since they are licensed for eminent domain.
• Texas and Oklahoma are studying why there has been a huge increase in earthquakes around the fracking well areas. Many states have banned fracking, and North Carolina used to be one of them. A small town in New York won a major court decision giving them back the right to control fracking.
Why the rush to frack? Some chemicals are cancer-causing, some radioactive. Our property rights are important ... so is public disclosure. Where is the public trust by our elected leaders? Get educated. Republicans are supposed to be against big government, so why the hypocrisy?