New Poll Shows Strong Local Concerns as NC Legislature Considers Fracking the Sandhills
According to a recent poll released today, most Sandhills residents do not support a requirement that would force landowners to sell the natural gas under their property if a certain percentage of neighbors have done so. The poll also showed high support for public disclosure of chemicals injected into the ground during fracking and serious concerns about the effects fracking will have on local water quality.
“Instead of fast tracking fracking in North Carolina’s Sandhills, the legislature needs to slow down until protections for clean water and property can be put in place,” said Mary Maclean Asbill, senior attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center. “The people who would be most impacted by fracking want to know what chemicals would be injected into the ground during fracking and potentially into the water supply for their families.”
At a Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy of the North Carolina General Assembly meeting today, the committee is expected to introduce a fracking bill to address the requests of the Mining and Energy Commission ahead of the legislative session on May 14th.
A strong majority of residents polled believe that gas and drilling companies should disclose the names and amounts of chemicals they use. Support for disclosure is nearly universal, even among those voters who support fracking. Even fracking supporters believe companies should have to inform the public on what chemicals are being injected into the ground.
In anticipation of legislation, the Southern Environmental Law Center conducted polling in House Districts 51 and 52 and Senate District 12 which include Lee, Moore and Chatham counties and are the districts that would be most directly impacted by fracking in North Carolina. The polling further shows that there is broad opposition to fracking in this part of the state.
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of nearly 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use. www.SouthernEnvironment.org