LETTER: Fracking moves forward, unemployment stagnates

May. 01, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

The matter of productive employment dynamics has stifled the new McCrory/Pope administration with no movement for creation of new jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for March 2013, the 7.6 percent unemployment rate remained stagnant. Those numbers omit those who have exhausted their benefits and public assistance, as well as those who have just given up looking for work.

The General Assembly once again Svengalied the voters of North Carolina with the partisan passage of Senate Bill 76 titled the Domestic Energy Jobs Act. There has been no movement by the current administration to create jobs. So much for the use of words when in fact, it was subliminally a “fracking bill in disguise.”

Having campaigned alongside Senator Jerry Tillman, who is an ardent supporter of “fracking,” many in attendance touted the value of having companies relocating their resources for employment advantages for North Carolinians. Not one in attendance at speaking engagements could name one person they knew who had experience for deep-well drilling — not one name!

As with most partisan barn door and escaping animals, the gate was wide open with no planning in place for drilling. From the website: http://rafiusa.org “Last year, in Senate Bill 820, the General Assembly legalized ‘fracking’ in North Carolina. However, the law prohibited the state from issuing permits in order to allow the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) sufficient time to develop a ‘modern regulatory program for the management of oil and gas exploration …’” The General Assembly had no idea how to proceed with legislation that could potently and effectively contaminate underground water resources. Thus, a delay until March 1, 2015, for the issuing of permits, while the drum beat of destitute unemployed continues with even more restrictions for public assistance.

North Carolina organizations opposed to the “Jobs Bill” are posing the same unanswered questions; with the current 7.6 percent unemployment rate, what avenues have been explored between now and 2015 to provide gainful employment for North Carolinians? If anything, Senate Bill 76 created more legal challenges with “collective pooling,” a new nomenclature for taking your underground resources because “we can.”

Tommy Davis