Swain passes fracking resolution

Swain County recently passed a resolution in opposition to fracking. “Are you familiar with what fracking is?” asked Swain County Commissioner Steve Moon. “That’s why we’re opposed to it.”

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method of natural gas exploration that involves using a mixture of water and chemicals to pump natural gas to the surface. The N.C. General Assembly passed a law earlier this year allowing for hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Proponents contend that fracking is safe and will provide a source of both energy and jobs. Critics — which include a unanimous Swain commission — argue that the practice raises environmental concerns about issues such as groundwater contamination. 

“We are opposed because we have 14 percent of the land base that’s taxable land,” said Commissioner David Monteith of his public-land heavy county. “If they get in here and drill and screw up the water table for our little ol’ 14 percent … we didn’t feel like they ought to be getting in here screwing up what little private land we have.”

In addition to Swain County, local governing bodies with Jackson County have also passed anti-fracking resolutions. In July, first Webster and then Sylva town boards passed resolutions. In August, Forest Hills officials will consider a similar resolution. 

The resolutions are entirely symbolic. The newly passed state law stipulates that local governments have no authority to ban fracking.

“The state legislature has taken our power away as far as local jurisdictions,” King said, “but we’re just trying to make everybody aware.”

The Naturalist's Corner

  • Fingers still crossed
    Fingers still crossed Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery, but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago — tree trimming on adjacent property — and for a day or…

Back Then with George Ellison

  • The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic
    The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic While walking stream banks or low-lying wetlands, you have perhaps had the memorable experience of flushing a woodcock — that secretive, rotund, popeyed, little bird with an exceedingly long down-pointing bill that explodes from underfoot and zigzags away on whistling wings and just barely managing…
Go to top