UPDATE: No more than two hours after the governor vetoed the fracking bill, Americans for Prosperity launched a robo-call campaign urging people to call legislators and tell them to vote for an override. About 20 different recordings targeting specific lawmakers are in the robo-call launch under way Sunday evening.
Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed legislation on Sunday that would have paved the way for North Carolina to drill for natural gas through a water and chemical intensive process known as fracking. It is the Democratic governor’s third veto of major Republican-backed legislation — all in the past four days, The N&O's Dan Kane reports.
Perdue said in a statement that she did not think the legislation went far enough to protect the environment. Five weeks ago, Perdue issued an executive order that outlined her approach to allowing fracking in an environmentally safe way that included input from health, environment and public safety officials. The state legislation put those decisions in the hands of a panel of 12 voting members that includes six with ties to mining or natural gas production.
“I support energy policies that create jobs and lower costs for businesses and families,” 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.
The veto requires the House and Senate to attempt an override with three-fifths majorities. In the Senate, that would mean at least 30 votes and in the House at least 72 if all the members participated. Neither side had reached those numbers in approving the legislation.