Saturday, February 16, 2013

People of Lee Co NC Compulsory pooling meeting


Fracking opponents dominate discussion at local meeting | The Sanford Herald

As I try to catch up from a very busy week , I read again the heeadlines above ...
Fracking opponents Dominate... ?
How did we dominate our own discussion ?
Oh yes it must have been because people did not let the the Knight brothers take over the meeting.
 Sadly I thought I was going to have a lot of great video but turns out most of it was too big to upload .

Unlike the appearance The Sanford Herald gave of the crowd I think it was very friendly. Just very tired of hearing the side of the profrackers.
   I am proud of the work Ed Harris and all the other local fractivist did to pull this off in less than a month of time.

The planning begain after being told by MEC Ray Covington and Jim Womack that we the public and many landowners were not suppose to speak at the Compulsory Pooling "Workshop" Jan 11th , set up to inform the people of what is going on ?
 We were told " If you want to summit questions at the end of the meeting in writing we May or may Not answer them at the following meeting...which was announced to be on Feb 8th at same time and place  and was changed after announcing it & would be moved to another town with less time allotted !   

Yes maybe a few concerned citizens spoke up and told Rob Knight that "His company was not needed here " or something like that.
He is co-owner of NC Oil and Gas LLC with brother Russ on left and Ray Covington of the MEC . People were there to hear the Other side of what Ray and his crew have been selling to them.

 But he was given plenty of time to speak as everyone was there.
To give all 7 speakers a chance to speak and give everyone a chance to be heard ... there was a time or 2... people were cut short but not spitefully just to get through with the presentation.

Ed Harris told us what part of Senate 820 needs to be changed "to help the NC landowners their rights back. "
Rob did try to debate some of the points Ed made, but unlike Ed he could not show it on paper as Ed did.

As the herald said " Harris, who organized the speakers but didn't include Knight, nevertheless told those heckling Knight to let him speak because everyone is entitled to an opinion. Harris himself urged people to speak with a lawyer if they do plan to sign a lease."
"They're going to be your best buddies," Harris said of the people coming around with leases to sign. "They're going to be as friendly as a couple of hound pups that someone dropped off in your driveway. ... They're going to have a wad of cash that could choke a goat."
But that won't stop them from using sneaky tactics that could end up harming landowners, he said. And, he added, the potential for accidents is huge, and people shouldn't sign away their rights or liability.
"Folks, fracking might be the greatest thing since sliced bread," Harris said. "But when it goes wrong, it goes horribly wrong."

One of the men seated away from the Knight brothers ,jumped up & shouted out before the next speaker had a chance to speak .

"You all need to be going to real meetings like the MEC meetings to get informed , not listening to a bunch of crazy stuff like this "
 or something close to that .... after a gapse from the others ...He was quickly and repeatedly reminded by half those there that "We are informed citizens,we do research , we do go to the meetings and have been repeatly told not to speak up for our rights !
 He later sat with the Knights  :>) I guess they made a friend.


We had Lynn Fass speak and she told us how she sold her horse farm in New Jersey several years ago, showing pictures that would she wanted to get as far away from the drilling she partially blames for her property's depreciation as possible. Now, living in Chatham County, she's facing fracking once again.

I took this pic last year of her picture at the march the the Legislature Building when she spoke there too.

Lynn had a lot of questions from people too concerned about something like this happening to them through forced pooling.
After Lynn we had

 Janeth Benitez from the Lee county group 'Workers for Clean Water" speaking about the negative consequences for middle class and poor working families.reminding us all that only a very few get rich from being fracked and there are not that many local stable jobs brought from it .Communities are broken.
 There is a lot of homeless made by boon town effects too .

 Elaine Chiosso came from Haw Riverkeepers , to talk about the effects of  fracking on the water sources , rivers and surface water.
I did not get a picture of Elaine at the meeting because I tried to get her on video . but I did have one of her from the Feb 8th workshop.

Elaine is on the left !

Then we had Bill Tatum speak and showed us some good pictures of his visit with a friend to Penn. to learn more about fracking.
BTW , the herald quoted him pretty good. 
he toured many counties in Pennsylvania that had fracking in preparation for his campaign and came away with mixed emotions, which he said was true of the communities he visited as well.
He said he saw those who got rich off drilling, but also those who were bankrupted.
Also, Tatum noted, only about a quarter of the jobs in the industry require a college education, and those workers don't often settle in the community that's being fracked.
The people who do, he said, are the less educated ones who don't have good prospects for employment once the wells dry up. But on the other hand, a town not much bigger than Broadway had just built three motels to accommodate new workers, which stimulated the economy at least for a time.
"It's still debatable," he said. "I'm not taking issue with this group or the pro-fracking folks. From my point of view, born and raised here in Lee County, I generally want to see — if we are going to move forward — is it safe? Will it be a boon? ... As we all know, we need that boost in Lee County."
again I have it on video and will try to share later if I can.

Next we had Therese Vick from Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League , told us about Split estates and showed a great power-point with it . you can see some of those and many other pics by clicking this pic below .
We ended with RAFI-USA from Pittsboro . They told us before they came they are Not Antifrack.
RAFI is currently participating in the Mining and Energy Commission’s Compulsory Pooling Study Group to examine “compulsory pooling” and recommend potential regulations to protect landowners from having their property taken for private gain.
They were asked to come to our meeting to give people that were considering having their land fracked advice on what to do to be safer .
So we did have a neutral speaker !
 All and all I think anyone that came , Had to learn something in those 4 hours. Petitions were signed  ...So I would say it was a job well done !

Sorry so long and thanks for reading .

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