LETTER: High risk, low reward

Jul. 03, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

N.C. Senators used extremely faulty math and exaggerated data in crafting the original SB 76, The Domestic Energy Job Act Bill, and explaining the benefits, allowing for an unsafe version of this bill to pass the Senate, and these Senators must now be held accountable.

Senators exaggerated how much fracking would positively impact our economy, indicating the largest fracking states averaged 5 percent unemployment and North Dakota averaged 3.3 percent compared to N.C.’s current rate of 8.9 percent. They claimed “this is what N.C. needs,” and the Senate voted down the safer House substitute bill.

A comprehensive government report (DENR Executive Summary, April 12, 2012) stated the Department of Commerce “estimates drilling activities in the Sanford sub-basin would sustain an average of 387 jobs per annum over the seven-year time period ...”

With 4.7 million North Carolinians in the workforce, 387 additional jobs represent a .0082 percent increase in new direct jobs, most for experienced out-of-state workers. Even if every direct job created an additional indirect job, that represents only a .016 percent employment increase. These job numbers make almost no impact to N.C.’s unemployment figures. Do the math.

N.C. has much less separation between groundwater used for drinking water and the gas-producing shale than in other gas-producing states, especially near Jordan Lake Reservoir (major source of drinking water for the Triangle), so drinking water contamination due to fracking fluids with toxic chemicals is inevitable.

High risk, low reward!

Charles Ritter