Starting with the suppression of local government:
Before adjourning their session last week, North Carolina lawmakers passed a law prohibiting towns, cities and counties from adopting any regulations or ordinances on natural gas drilling or the controversial practice commonly known as fracking.
The provision appears to have put the kibosh on efforts by the city of Sanford and the Lee County commissioners, who had wanted to consider additional regulations of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
For those who have been following this issue closely, it will come as no surprise that Lee County is the epicenter of this legal earthquake. Between coal ash dumps and being in the crosshairs of frackers due to likely shale deposits, citizens are understandably concerned. But it's also home to a small group of influential pro-frackers determined to enrich themselves and their friends, no matter the environmental cost: