Hydraulic Fracturing (fracking or natural gas drilling) is an issue in play in North Carolina that has support on both sides of the aisle, dating back to even the Perdue administration. I am sure that many of you have seen the ads that have been running referencing myself, as well as Senators Rabin and Barefoot. The short piece of propaganda is light on facts and focuses on generating an emotional response. Additionally, these ads are quite clearly politically motivated in that they specifically target the more competitive senate districts in North Carolina. With that said, I am more than happy to defend my position and my votes.
Natural gas drilling is something that I, along with many legislators from both parties, support due to the benefit it will have for North Carolina. I have done my research on natural gas drilling; I’ve consulted with experts, specialists and various reports. As a legislator it is my responsibility to overview and assess these facts and testimonies. As a business owner, I see the economic benefits to our state in terms of jobs, revenue, and domestic energy, while as the owner of a landscaping business I remain environmentally conscious in my convictions.
There are possible risks in natural gas drilling (as there are with all forms of fossil fuel extraction). This is why it is important to implement various preventative and safety measures, to ensure that companies are held accountable, and to move forward responsibly with harnessing natural gas. We are doing this in North Carolina. I would not support anything that would endanger North Carolina drinking water or North Carolina properties. Natural gas drilling will bring sorely needed construction jobs, generate royalty payments for property owners, and provide tax revenues to the state government that can then be used to address some of our other needs. A lot of these jobs would be high-paying specialized positions like engineering, surveying, construction, equipment manufacturing, and environmental permitting.
For these reasons, I support natural gas drilling and believe that North Carolina must move ahead with natural gas drilling. Other states have enjoyed great success with natural gas drilling. Specifically, North Dakota is the poster child for what natural gas drilling can do for a state’s economy. Natural gas drilling is already improving the outlook for energy in the United States through reducing our dependence on foreign oil. North Carolina stands to benefit from getting in on the game.