Cautionary Tales from Jill Wiener: Moore County

North Carolina welcomed us with open arms, and home made cookies.  Seriously, after a long travel day where Robby, Robert and I met in Raleigh and drove out to Moore County, we arrived at our hotel at midnight and were greeted by care packages made up of local newspapers, including one with an article about the Stop the Frack Attack (STFA) tour, gift certificates for our morning coffee and homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.

The care packages were left for us by a force of nature; Betty Thomas. Our important first lesson of this trip is lead with sweetness and truth. When we got to meet Betty on Tuesday morning we found her as delightful as promised.   Betty, like me, has an affinity for flowers and pottery.  And, like me, is very concerned about protecting her community from dangerous fracking.

The grassroots and grasstop organizations in North Carolina are working together to educate about fracking and the devastating realities of what could happen if their government allows the frackers to start industrializing rural areas of the State.  STFA partner organizations Environment North Carolina and Clean Water for North Carolina are part of a coalition that hosted our tour and are working to keep North Carolina frack free.   There is a real power in coordinating efforts and we have seen that in New York, where we ‘enjoy’ a fragile de facto moratorium on fracking.

Educating elected officials to the harm that could befall the state at the hands of the industry is an essential part of their collective work.  When I first started visiting legislators in NY if they knew anything at all about fracking it was gleaned from glossy industry brochures.

On Tuesday night Robert and I presented our personal stories to a packed house in Pinehurst.   We relayed how we have been fighting to protect our neighborhoods, states and country, really our collective backyards, from an industry that is not accountable to even the most basic environmental laws and that places profits over our public health.   They have left a trail of contaminated air and water and fractured not just the shale, but also communities that live above it. They have replaced sustainable economies with a bust that regularly befalls a community that ‘hosts’ extraction.

Our resources are finite and our heath and climate are not renewable. There is a renewable energy revolution at our fingertips we just need the political will to grab it.   There is a Plan for North Carolina as there is for every other state and the TheSolutionsProjet.org .  That is a great place to get started on the path to StopTheFrackAttack.org

Jill Wiener

Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy (catskillcitizens.org)

STFA Advisory Council Member