LETTER: Fracking: Health, safety too important to rush

Jun. 05, 2014 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

Ray Covington neglected to mention in the two-part Take 5 segment that he is the owner of North Carolina Oil and Gas, a company that, when fracking comes to North Carolina, will profit. No person who will profit directly or indirectly from an industry should be allowed to be on any regulatory commission, committee or study group that will recommend or make regulations or laws that will govern that industry.

Ray is co-chair of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission. He chaired the committee on compulsory/forced pooling, which is recommending the rules allowing the industry that he is associated with to take over private property rights. We, of course, are supposed to believe that he and other members of the M.E.C., the D.E.N.R. and the N.C. Legislature who have a direct or indirect financial interest in oil and gas exploration in the state will put our property rights and Constitutional rights ahead of their own financial interest.

Letting people submit written comments to the M.E.C at the public comment meeting I find troubling. How will we know that each and every question or comment submitted is read and responded to? Some people would rather speak. Many times when people hear other people speak, it gives them the courage to do so also, and it may bring questions to mind that have not been addressed. Why only one public comment meeting in Lee County? People who have a job during the day can’t take off work and need a meeting during evening hours. Many people because of age, health or employment will be unable to travel outside the county to other meetings.

If the M.E.C. feels that it is a time issue, I would remind them that their time is our time. They are supposed to be working for us, the citizens of North Carolina, and not the oil and gas industry, and if the industry thinks we’re moving too slowly, so be it. Health, safety and welfare of citizens and environment are too important to rush this.

W. Ed Jr. &Doris C. Harris