Rep. Susi Hamilton, a Democrat from Wilmington, took a lot of flak this week for crossing party lines to vote to override the fracking bill veto on the last night of the session Monday. At the same time, the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved an extension of tax incentives for the movie industry, smack in her district.
The N.C. League of Conservation Voters then revoked the “Rising Star” award it had given her a few weeks ago, accusing her of trading environmental protection for film incentives. On Saturday, Hamilton posted a video statement on her Facebook page and released an open letter defending her environmental record.
“I did not vovte to support fracking, I voted to regulate fracking,” she writes. “A huge difference. … This was a vote to protect the small rural communities of the state against oil and gas companies.”
She says the oil and gas industry actually wanted to see the governor’s veto sustained Monday so they could resurrect another vetoed energy bill from last year, SB709 – “or, as I call it, ‘drill baby drill.’”
Hamilton touts her 83 percent rating by the N.C. League of Conservation voters, ranking her 12th out of 120 members of the House this year. She also takes a shot at the “well-to-do environmental lobby” for political posturing.
She says her work with Rep. Danny McComas, a Wilmington Republican, to extend the film incentives resulted in a victory for the whole state.
"No one can bully me into anything. They never have, and they never will. Period,” she concludes.