LETTER: No means no

Oct. 15, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

To the Editor:

If we, the people of North Carolina, allow our employees, The N.C Mining and Energy Commission, The N.C Department of Energy and Natural Resources and the N.C Legislature, to continue on the path they are on with S.B. 820, S.B.76 and H.B.8, the state will own all property in North Carolina. You may buy property, pay taxes on property, improve property and create a home and lifestyle on property, but the state can at any time give your property rights to an industry that wants it for any reason.

An industry can come onto your land, cut down 200-year-old forests, destroy fields, pastures, your peace and quiet, and you have no say in the destruction of your property and lifestyle. Of course, “they” say that you will be compensated for loss or damages. “They” say that the land will be restored to its original condition. Really? How do you restore/replace 100-200 year old trees? How do you compensate someone for the loss of 100-200 year old hardwood forest and the habitat that it provides? How do you replace a good water well that is contaminated? A stream/creek? A river? Your farm pond? Pastureland?

“They” say that it cannot, will not happen. I don't believe “them.” I think that “they” are working for the gas industry. ... To see the devastation that fracking has wrought on communities across the country, the health and environmental problems, you only have to type “anti-fracking “ into your search engine, hit enter and follow the leads.

If we do not stand our ground, the people who are supposed to be protecting our interests (our employees) are going to give the gas industry, and any other industry that wants it, our property rights. They need to be made to understand that no means no. We, the people, reserve the right of refusal.

W. Ed Jr. & Doris C. Harris