So far, it appears to be mostly study-related:
...the bill paves the way for a study of fracking and raises some fees associated with natural gas exploration. It also gives the Department of Environment and Natural Resources authority to work with consumer advocates.
I like some of the guidance for the study, especially as related to water resources. Where the water's going to come from and where the tainted water will go afterward are crucial questions that demand hyper-specific answers. But while we're in the early days, I have a question about this:
With over 20,000 acres of mineral rights already leased in the Lee-Chatham basin, he said, it was only a matter of time before companies started pressuring the General Assembly to change laws.
Why is this not considered fraud? These companies that Rep. Gillespie is "warning" us about are out there getting landowners to sign legally binding lease contracts for an activity that is currently illegal in this state.
They might say these are generic mineral rights contracts, but everybody knows what they're for. And because all these thousands of acres have been leased under quasi-legal circumstances, we're supposed to accept as "fait accompli" that a change in the law must needs be follow? Bullshit.
We need more than a committee and the DENR looking into this. The Attorney General's office needs to investigate these leases, and pronto, before more citizens are drawn in.