The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday June 7th

Letter: James Taylor opposes fracking, so what?


In a recent letter to the editor, Bob Keefe of the Natural Resources Defense Council points out that longtime NRDC trustee, singer, songwriter and native North Carolinian James Taylor opposes hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in his home state.

So what?

What exactly does James Taylor know about fracking? Is he really the person North Carolinians should look to when considering our state’s energy policy? Keefe mentions Taylor’s comments in a series of commercials run by the organization calling fracking, “reckless” and “dangerous.” That would be news to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and more than 20 other states that currently allow well-regulated and orderly energy production through fracking.

The letter further argues that North Carolina policy makers have taken steps that “disregard common sense health and environmental safeguards regarding fracking.” That would be news to N.C. regulators who have drafted 120 new rules and regulations that will govern safe extraction of resources via fracking — rules that have been developed after thorough public outreach and work with experienced regulators from other states.

Fracking already supports over 2 million jobs and has enabled an expansion of U.S. manufacturing. Moreover, because of natural gas production from fracking, the U.S. is at a 20-year low in carbon emissions — an amazing feat that Mr. Keefe and Taylor seem unaware of.

If Carolina was really in Taylor’s mind, he would support fracking for the economic boom it could bring, the jobs it would create and the environmental benefits it provides.

Michael Whatley

Executive Vice President

Consumer Energy Alliance

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