N.C.: Drill, baby, drill

North Carolinians seem to favor new ways to get to natural resources.

According to the latest Elon University Poll, 50 percent of respondents support fracking and 66 percent support offshore drilling. (Not exactly sure what fracking is? Join the club: 20 percent of respondent said they had heard nothing of hydraulic fracturing and another 41 percent said they had heard very little about it.)

“The stronger support for off-shore drilling (over 66%) compared to fracking (just under 50%) could be due to the current debate over whether or not the runoff from fracking has the potential to contaminate wells, groundwater and other water supplies,” the poll directors said in a release. “For those residents that do not live near the coast, off-shore drilling may seem to impose less of a risk or burden to their immediate environment. Add to that the fact that fracking is still a relatively new concept to many residents in North Carolina and experts are still debating on whether it can be done safely.”

In fact, it’s likely that fracking support will decrease as more people become aware of stories like this one in the News & Observer:  “This time, the proposal is shifting the fracking debate from the center of the state, where the energy exploration and economic benefits would occur, to tourism-dependent coastal communities where the disposal wells would have to be drilled.”

The leadership in the Legislature and the governor support both fracking and offshore drilling.
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One response to “N.C.: Drill, baby, drill

  1. Susan Wells

    Agree with Rio — title (found on Outer Banks Voice and other reports) is incorrect unless all residents were asked.
    “Elon Poll: Most N.C. residents favor offshore drilling” —–a majority of 891 people who responds to such a biased poll is NOT “most NC residents” !!!!

    Also you have to wonder who funded the poll – directly or indirectly — and what the results might have been if those questioned were asked to say which source of energy development they preferred – Coal, Nuclear, Fracking, offshore DRILLING or offshore wind farms (and other renewable sources).

    There is bias in every poll and study — was there selection bias in this one? There definitely appears to have been bias in the question/s selected.

    Certainly there is not enough asked/reported about this study to make the conclusion stated in the title valid.

    I’d like to hear the media ask what happened to the wind farm that should have been up and running by last year in Pasquotank/Perquimans county — some reports says Duke Energy (and all other energy companies in the area) refused to pay the going rate for the energy it produced (partly because in NC they can get away with that and only they have a right to buy it) – and yet Duke Energy has ignored a Greenpeace report showing it could save customers at least a $billion in a decade by investing in renewables instead of going ahead with business as usual.

    I have to wonder what kind of answers pollers would get if NC media had first publicized the Greenpeace report on renewable energy (regarding Duke Energy) or the extensive research by professor Mark Z Jacobson at Stanford — or the recent study by the University of Delaware claiming cost-effectiveness of a well-planned renewable energy program that could meet all our needs by 2030 – IF we committed to renewable energy vs more fossil fuel development.

    http://ecowatch.org/2012/greenpeace-report/

    http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2013/dec/renewable-energy-121012.html

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/susenergy2030.html

    Or if they publicized Jacobson and others’ research on why fracking is not a proper “bridge” solution

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/NatGasVsWWS&coal.pdf

    And I wonder if lawmakers could continue to claim they are fracking for more jobs if this info by the Univ of Massachusetts was at least considered or the report by Think Progress that referenced it

    http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/other_publication_types/green_economics/economic_benefits/economic_benefits.PDF

    More myths about renewables confronted here:
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/28/453122/fact-sheet-6-things-you-should-know-about-the-value-of-renewable-energy/?mobile=nc

    The company planning to build the wind farm (discussed in NC Coastal Federation’s State of the Coast Report 2011) told me they still hope to go ahead with the project as long as Federal subsidies are available. More details on this are needed.

    But, as I understand it, NC’s Utilities Commission is not making it easy for development of renewable energy in NC as it is in some other states – (see Jan DeBlieu’s report in the same publication) –

    and http://www.artpopeexposed.com explains how NC’s new budget director is funding groups whose goal it is to DISCREDIT renewable energy development here and elsewhere.

    They and all those they influence/control seem to be doing a good job of it.

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