If you want a more accurate picture of energy development in NC than the mainstream media provide, check out this story in NC Capitol Connection.
Let’s look at five key factors.
- Is NC rushing headfirst into hydraulic fracturing?
The opposite is true: the Tar Heel State has dragged its feet on the process, also known as fracking. States such as North Dakota and Pennsylvania developed their shale resources years ago and have raked in billions from energy development, while NC has dawdled.
- Is the current rules process hurried?
Some media reports imply the Rules Review Commission is going too fast on approving rules. Let’s look at the process, rather than trying to set some arbitrary time scheme. For example, discussion on just open-air pits garnered 2,800 comments. There has been extensive debate of the rules. And the General Assembly will then review them again. If the process seems to have moved with more urgency than many government endeavors, that may because many government activities move at a snail’s pace.
- Is the fact that 13 rules missed a deadline significant?
In every project, especially in government work, deadlines get missed. The 13 rules will be discussed by the panel in a couple of weeks.
- What about three rules that commission counsel Amanda Reeder said might merit more review?
She clearly and frankly stated that as an attorney she was no expert in the field, but that she thought the rules merited further review. It sounds as if she wanted to err on the side of caution.
That’s fine, but discussion of the rules indicated they fell within industry standards. Moreover, two of the rules strengthened precautions. The third increased the length of the permitting process. That if anything would seemingly make the regulations stronger.
- Is the commission trying to do away with regulation?
The commission has so far moved 107 new regulations on to the legislature for approval. If all 13 of the added rules are OK’d in January, that means the commission will have put forward 120 new regulations.
To sum up: Beware of the subtle spin the mainstream media put on news, especially topics such as energy development.