Under the Dome

Gov. Perdue takes unannounced trip to Pennsylvania to see fracking rigs

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue and top administration officials flew to Pennsylvania last week to examine drilling rigs used for shale gas extraction, a controversial practice known as fracking.

The March 5 trip occurred without public notice from the governor's office and included meetings with oil company representatives and local government officials who support fracking. (Perdue's office does not release a regular schedule like other state chief executives.) The governor did not visit with local environmental groups on the trip but her spokesman said she met days prior with Sierra Club and Environmental Defense Fund officials in North Carolina.

The trip was organized by Jon Williams, the assistant secretary for energy at the N.C. Department of Commerce, in consultation with John Hanger, the former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Hanger is a shale gas drilling supporter who works as an outside consultant. (Environmental advocates criticized Republican lawmakers for taking an industry-driven trip in late 2011.)

The governor's office did not provide an itinerary for the trip but said Perdue and the N.C. delegation received a briefing from Shell Oil and a tour of Shell's operations in Tioga County before attending a roundtable with state and local officials at Mansfield University. The delegation -- which flew on the state plane in a up-and-back trip -- included Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Dee Freeman; Kari Barsness, the DENR legislative liaison; Williams; and Nina Szlosberg-Landis, a member of the Department of Transportation board and a major Democratic donor that Perdue's office said is "well known in the environmental community."

Perdue's office said Hanger, a Duke University alumnus, invited the governor to tour the shale gas operations in Pennsylvania during his recent visit to North Carolina. A spokesman said Perdue "is trying to learn more about this process and the impact it would have on the state." Perdue has said she supports fracking if done safely. But environmental advocates have championed her veto of a GOP-backed energy bill to pave the way for fracking in North Carolina. She rejected the legislation on narrow constitutional powers grounds.

A local report from Pennsylvania about the governor's visit said Perdue also met with representatives from Chesapeake Energy, the same company that gave Republican lawmakers a tour. The governor's office only acknowledged the trip after Dome inquired about the local newspaper article.

According to the report, a local commissioner said Perdue and the N.C. delegation "were curious about the water and how it is affected and handled and how the community adjusts, as well as how the industry has affected the businesses or economy. "It is evident by the low unemployment numbers here and in Bradford County that it is a good thing," the commissioner told the paper.

(Photo from The Wellsboro Gazette.)


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Fracking: what's the worst that could happen?

Sure, let's frack in NC. What's the worst that could happen?

Tap water that can be lit on fire? Yes.

Unknown toxic chemicals and carcinogens blasted into the ground? Yes.

Massive water withdrawals in increasing times of drought? Yes.

Temporary jobs that will arrive in a decade or two that will be made available to highly trained people from Texas and Pennsylannia? Yes.

Likely little state oversight of a controversial drilling practice because of drastic cuts to state environmental regulators offices? Yes.

Questions about land speculation as the real money maker for natural gas companies, which could cause a new real estate bubble to pop amid inflated pricing and selling?

Fracking: what's the worst that could happen?

The truth about fracking

I wonder if Governor Perdue would make an unannounced visit to our website,, to learn how the truth about fracking is being distorted by films like "Gasland" and the mainstream media.

Dr. Daniel Fine discusses North Carolina's approach to Shale Gas

Dr. Fine was a distinguished guest of the Shaftesbury Society and spoke on

“Shale Gas Wars: From Pennsylvania to North Carolina.” sponsored by the John Locke Foundation and Jesse Helms Center in Raleigh

"While North Carolina struggles with an ongoing abysmal employment situation, fracking is providing a welcome boon for North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, among others. Being a latecomer in the game could have its own benefits, however; as Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy has explained, North Carolina is well positioned to survey and adopt the best practices, the best technology, and the best legal landscape. And the Deep River Basin in Lee and Chatham counties offers an especially promising area for development." Fracking's promise of jobs, growth too compelling to ignore By Jon Sanders John Locke Foundation March 9

Dr. Fine seen on You Tube video (2 minutes) here-----> Google you tube under "Daniel Fine"

The full one hour video can be seen here-->"North Carolina's approach to natural gas fracking" --->Google Locker Room and John Locke Foundation for full video then search on the John Locke website for Dr. Daniel Fine. Podcast is at Locker Room Link

Dr. Daniel I. Fine works with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy. He is a longtime research associate at the Mining and Minerals Resources Institute, MIT. Fine is also a policy adviser on nonconventional oil and gas. He is co-editor of Resource War in 3-D: Dependence, Diplomacy and Defense, and has contributed to Business Week, the Engineering and Mining Journal and the Washington Times. Fine has testified on strategic natural resources before the U.S. Senate committees on Foreign Affairs and Energy and Natural Resources. In this speech, he discusses "Shale Gas Wars: From Pennsylvania to North Carolina." Fracking's promise of jobs, growth too compelling to ignore By Jon Sanders John Locke Foundation March 9

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