In the 20th veto of her term, Gov. Bev Perdue today officially refused to approve SB 820, which would have legalized shale gas exploration in the state through hydraulic fracturing — a process known as fracking. Perdue’s press release cites her personal support for gas exploration in the state, but her opposition to the lack of safeguards in the N.C. Senate bill.
Full veto announcement from the governor’s office:
RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue today vetoed Senate Bill 820, citing the General Assembly’s unwillingness to ensure that adequate protections for drinking water, landowners, county and municipal governments, and the health and safety of families are in place before fracking begins.
The Governor supports hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” but believes additional safeguards are needed in the bill.
“I support energy policies that create jobs and lower costs for businesses and families,” Gov. Perdue said. “Our drinking water and the health and safety of North Carolina’s families are too important; we can’t put them in jeopardy by rushing to allow fracking without proper safeguards.”
In May, Gov. Perdue issued an Executive Order demanding high standards for shall gas development. “North Carolina needs a strong set of standards in place that protect our drinking water, health and safety, as well as protect the interests of landowners and address the needs of county and municipal governments.”
Read the Governor’s Executive Order at the following link: http://www.governor.state.nc.us/NewsItems/ExecutiveOrderDetail.aspx?newsItemID=2429
Governor’s Veto Statement:
“I support hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for natural gas, because I believe it can and should be part of a comprehensive mix of energy sources that will create jobs, reduce costs for businesses and families, and keep our economy growing. Before we “frack,” however, we need strong safeguards in place that are specifically adapted to conditions in North Carolina.
This bill does not do enough to ensure that adequate protections for our drinking water, landowners, county and municipal governments, and the health and safety of our families will be in place before fracking begins. I urged the sponsors of the bill to adopt a few changes to ensure that strong protections would be in place before any fracking would occur.
The General Assembly was unwilling to adopt the changes I suggested. Therefore, I must veto the bill. Our drinking water and the health and safety of North Carolina’s families are too important; we can’t put them in jeopardy by rushing to allow fracking without proper safeguards.
I urge the General Assembly to continue working on this important issue. If they improve the bill to strengthen the protections for North Carolina families, I will sign it into law.
Therefore, I veto this bill.”