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« Popular demand not so popular | Main | Chummy »

Feb 22, 2013

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Bill Bush

Ed, I really enjoy a good rhetorical question to start my afternoon. How 'bout you?

Steve Harrison

Smeesh. It's not like the state's top geologists have been anti-fracking. They've been waving the pom-poms for years. But I guess when you put on the anti-science blinders, you can run right past your pals and not even know it.

Fred Gregory
Dave Dobson

Checking this list, it looks like we're down to two environmentalists, six private citizens representing gas industry interests, and a few government officials, most of whom will be McRory appointees. I'm guessing the NC State guy is at least extraction-friendly, given that his group at NC State is all about extracting minerals for commercial use.

So, by ditching the state geologist, they may well have gotten rid of the last nominally neutral person with practical knowledge of the process and the potential impacts.

As a geologist myself, but without much knowledge in this field, my first impression is that it's not impossible to frack in an environmentally sound way, but:

1) Rushing headlong into it without any reasonable regulation is moronic. That is exemplified in choice to protect the composition of fracking fluids as trade secrets, thereby hiding from landowners and surrounding communities the materials that are being pumped into their environment.

2) Other states are already rushing headlong into this without much regulation; in a few years, we'll be able to see how bad it was for them to do so. The fact that NC Geology differs from PA and NY is exactly why the state geologist would be helpful on this board.

3) If we rush into this now, we'll be selling NC's relatively small gas reserves at the lowest price in a generation. That's stupid. It'll still be there to frack later, after the other places dry up and prices rise again.

prell

Geology, like meteorology, isn't a Biblical "science," so it will never be embraced as legit by conservatives. Add to that McCrory's interest in vocational education, and geologists are now obsolete. A septic driller, gravedigger, or home school grad whose favorite movies are Giant and There Will Be Blood will likely replace the state geologist on the fracking board. They are the new experts. They are the new scientists.

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