As per SB 786, which passed in 2014, regulations developed by the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) to govern natural gas development through hydraulic fracturing go into effect today, ending North Carolina’s moratorium on fracking permits. The door is now open for oil and gas companies to bring permit applications to the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the MEC.However, inadequacies exist in numerous areas of the rules. Any effective regulatory structure for fracking must be both comprehensive and effective. As any farmer knows, an effective fence must be “horse high, pig tight and bull strong.” As with a pasture fence, gaps or weak areas of a regulatory framework negate the effectiveness of strong areas. While RAFI thanks the MEC for the strong provisions within the rule set, the gaps and weaknesses negate the strengths. Landowner rights, public health, and environmental protection must be a prerequisite for fracking in North Carolina. The current regulatory structure fails to meet this prerequisite. The inadequacies within the MEC rules highlight the irresponsible decision-making that led the NC General Assembly to pre-approve MEC rules in 2014. Members of the NCGA who voted to pre-approve MEC rules abdicated their responsibility to constituents by choosing to approve rules without complete information. NCGA members should reinstate the moratorium on permitting until the MEC closes gaps within natural gas development rules.
Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund, in the field I always enjoy my visits to Rockingham County and Tuesday was no exception. My afternoon […]
This year, RAFI will celebrate 18 years of serving small and mid-scale family farmers across NC through our grant program. To kick-off a new round of grant-making through our Agricultural Reinvestment Fund, we’ve organized a farm tour with two of our current grantees on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 1 to 3 pm.
We congratulate our friends at Farm Aid on being honored at the Grammy Foundation Legacy Concert…
Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would terminate the Interim Final Farmer Fair Practice Rule that was set to go into effect October 19th. Farmers have been calling out to USDA for over a decade to hold big business in livestock industries accountable for unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices. This action today is a step in the wrong direction for rural America, siding with Big Meat and against farmers.