Letters to the Editor, March 18
Just last week, the Environmental Protection Agency reported yet another coal ash spill along the Dan River.
Coupled with the previous spills, this one will only contribute to the ecosystem degradation that people are already observing. For example, a 20-mile long mussel kill was recently discovered along the river. H
How long do we have to wait before Gov. Pat McCrory takes actions to regulate coal ash so that we won’t have a disaster like this again? It’s not too difficult; all he has to do is force companies like Duke Energy to move current coal ash ponds away from waterways and place them in lined facilities. Then, he can forbid companies from placing new coal ash ponds anywhere besides lined facilities and away from waterways.
The fact that we ever allowed this toxic sludge so close to our rivers is appalling. Hopefully McCrory will realize this error and do something in the name of protecting North Carolina’s precious waterways.
Commonly referred to as “fracking,” hydraulic fracturing has received much national attention recently, as the technology has enabled a resurgence in American oil and natural gas production. In fact, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently estimated that the United States overtook Russia as the world's largest oil and gas producer.
Fortunately, the prospect of it occurring here in the Tar Heel State could bring new opportunities and energy supplies to the region. Of course, as has been the case elsewhere, this has been a topic of intense political debate in the state. While some North Carolinians are concerned that hydraulic fracturing could negatively impact our state’s groundwater supplies, it’s worth mentioning that over 1.2 million oil and natural gas wells have undergone the process without negatively impacting groundwater resources.
In fact, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy noted "there’s nothing inherently dangerous in fracking,” and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz reiterated that sentiment stating, “I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.”
The prospect of shale development occurring in the state is exciting, as it could diversify our state’s natural gas supply and help North Carolina’s economy flourish.
It’s time for North Carolina to be vigilant in advancing projects and policies that support an “all-of the-above” energy portfolio. Energy diversity is a critical issue for the Tar Heel State’s future economic success, and we need to promote policies that support expanded responsible development of American resources, in particular those that are here in North Carolina.
The writer is executive director of the Consumer Energy Alliance-Southeast.