|Fracking Made Legal in North Carolina by Representative “Pushing the Wrong Button”|
|Written by Michelle Reeves, Four Green Steps|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 07:30|
Written by Michelle Reeves, Four Green Steps
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Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is now legal in the state of North Carolina. We have state representative democrat Becky Carney to thank, who admitted to accidentally casting the wrong vote concerning a key fracking bill. And for all of you thinking it, House rules state that it is impossible to modify a vote that would affect the outcome.
Hydraulic fracturing is the very controversial natural gas and petroleum extraction method which blasts a chemical cocktail into rock fractures. This practice is known to contaminate ground water with hundreds of chemicals and affect air quality and human health due to chemical waste.
In North Carolina, there was already a law allowing fracking with established rules, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Bev Perdue. To override this veto, 72 votes were needed and it came down to Becky Carney to cast the deciding vote.
When her turn came, Carney reportedly push the wrong button and voted “yes”, giving her opponents a total of 72 votes. Before this incident, Carney had been strongly lobbying her fellow democrats to vote “no.” According to local media, her voice could be heard through her microphone: “Oh my gosh, I pushed green.”
Because a deciding vote like this one cannot be reversed, fracking is now legal in North Carolina because of a fluke. Carney has apologized for her mistake and blames it on extreme fatigue. “It is late. Here we are rushing to make these kinds of decisions this time of night,” she said to reporters. “I feel rotten, and I feel tired and I feel that mistakes are made constantly when people are tired. And I feel rotten about it, but I take responsibility for my vote.” Without Ms. Carney’s vote, the governor’s veto would have remained.
The thing is, this is not the first time Becky Carney has made this kind of mistake. Earlier this year, she admitted to passing a transportation bill without even knowing what it was about. How does this make you feel about our elected representatives?
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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