July 1, 2012 – Governor Beverly Perdue’s office announced today that she has vetoed SB 820, which legalizes fracking in the State of North Carolina and could allow drilling by 2014.
“We’re grateful that the Governor is doing the right thing and acting to defend the rights of landowners in our state,” said Becky Ceartas, Contract Agriculture Reform Program Director at the Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA.
Thousands of North Carolinians have called and emailed the Governor, asking her to oppose the bill.
The bill would allow private companies to undermine several fundamental property rights:
- It did not prohibit companies from drilling for gas without permission from the mineral rights owner, as long as a certain percentage of the owner’s neighbors have signed gas leases – a practice called forced pooling.
- It made surface use agreements optional, meaning that landowners who don’t own their mineral rights may have no say in how their land is used.
- It did not allow time for adequate study of potential impacts, such as whether current state eminent domain laws would allow companies to seize private property to build pipelines to transport the gas they extract.
“We hope that our legislators will hear their constituents and uphold the Governor’s veto,” Ceartas said. “The bill does not go far enough to protect the rights of North Carolina property owners. Concerns this serious deserve to be addressed before the state considers legalization.”