You may have seen an advertisement designed by an environmental lobby attacking me and my colleagues. They want you to believe we don’t care about you and your families or our water supply or our environment. What nonsense, we live here, too! Not one legislator that I know wants to harm the environment. Like all elitists, this group believes they should dictate how we live. That’s why they probably also support Obamacare. The truth is that these over- the-top extremists have an agenda designed to stop the development of any energy resource that is not approved by them. They are the same type special interests who gave you the Solyndra scandal which, supported by the Obama administration, cost us taxpayers over one-half billion dollars, and who lobbied the EPA to mandate the use of renewable energy which makes your electric bill higher every month.
Let’s review a few facts about why and how we in the legislature are going about developing North Carolina’s energy resources in a safe, regulated and responsible way while protecting our water supply and or our environment.
- Abundant energy resources exist right here in North Carolina – resources that could create thousands of new jobs, generate billions of dollars in new revenue and move us further toward energy independence. That’s why legislative Republicans crafted a comprehensive energy policy that paves the way for a flourishing onshore and offshore energy sector. We simply cannot dismiss this economic potential because of a fictional Matt Damon movie inspired by special interest groups who are tied to renewable energy; are environmental extremists; and/or are simply big business entities wanting to take advantage of government subsidies and stimuli, paid for by your tax dollars.
- In 2011, the General Assembly created the Mining and Energy Commission to develop the regulatory and safety standards for shale gas exploration and production. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mining and Energy Commission have not yet been authorized to issue permits for shale gas exploration and development. After the MEC rules are passed later this summer, it is possible that permitting could be authorized by next summer 2015 – one year after regulatory and safety standards will be in place and debated.
- Several recent major university and government studies, including one from Gov. Bev Perdue’s DENR, have found that shale gas exploration and development can be done safely. Even President Obama, his former Secretary of Energy and his EPA Administrator agree.
As a member of the Joint Legislative Energy Policy Commission, I have made on-sight visits to shale gas well sites, had discussions with all involved sectors (including environmental groups), viewed presentations and done some personal research. All of the evidence leads me to believe we should continue to look at developing our shale gas resources. In honesty, I cannot give a 100% assurance that there will never be an accident. But then, nothing is “fail safe”. There is risk in every decision. Through the work of the Governor’s Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) we are taking account of every possible lesson learned during the 50-plus years this industry has been growing in the U.S.A. and using them to draft strict rules and regulations to reduce risk to the absolute minimum.
This ad is misleading and is meant to malign me and to scare you. That this group is against shale gas exploration is their right. However, when they attack me personally by saying that I do not care about the lives of the people and families in North Carolina and District 12, they are simply not telling the truth. I spent nearly 24 years in the U.S. Army defending the lives and freedoms of the people of North Carolina and the United States of America. Two and one-half of those years were in combat (two of those “down range” in Vietnam) to protect other American families like yours. I spent a lot of time away from my own family when they needed me and would do it again. Now these special interest driven groups want you to think I don’t care about you and your family. Nonsense! I always have and always will believe that families are the strength of our Nation. If they will spin a story like that how can you trust them?
According to the News and Observer, this group is planning an all-out war against me, to include a direct mail campaign and even more TV ads over the next couple of weeks. It is their right to do this. It is my right to tell you that their ad is pure baloney and to fight back. Trouble is, I am outgunned by this deep-pocketed environmentalist super-PAC.
If you agree that we should develop North Carolina’s abundant energy resources safely and responsibly and reap the economic benefits, I need your help to make an effective counter- attack. Please contribute to my campaign today so I can begin launching my own attack on them. Please consider making a contribution of $5, $10, $15, $20, or more to my campaign today. Together we can fight their misleading “facts” and their flat out lies.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Senator Ronald Rabin
NC District 12
Colonel, US Army (Ret.)