NC Democrats Cry Foul After Republicans Override Perdue’s Fracking Veto

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North Carolina Republicans late Monday successfully overrode Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of a fracking bill, but not without pulling a legislative trick.

State Rep. Becky Carney (D) accidentally pressed the wrong button and voted with Republicans to override the veto, the Charlotte Observer reports. And a maneuver by Rep. Paul Stam blocked her from correcting her vote.

“It was a huge mistake,” Carney said. “I take full responsibility.” According to Carney, it was her first time pressing the wrong button in her decade of public service.

The GOP’s move drew jeers from Democrats in the legislature. “I am shocked and disappointed,” Rep. Pricey Harrison told the Observer. “The atmosphere is toxic right now.”

Perdue’s move Sunday was her third veto of Republican-backed legislation, the Raleigh News and Observer reports, in the past four days. The Democratic governor is generally supportive of fracking — the process of pumping water and chemicals into rock to mine natural gas — but doesn’t believe the bill contains enough public or environmental safety measures.

“I support energy policies that create jobs and lower costs for businesses and families,” Perdue said in a statement Sunday. “Our drinking water and the health and safety of North Carolina’s families are too important; we can’t put them in jeopardy by rushing to allow fracking without proper safeguards.” 

A recent study by the University of Texas in Austin found that 63 percent of Americans aren’t sure what fracking is. “We are left with a highly controversial topic that few Americans understand,” UT’s Energy Poll Director Sheril Kirshenbaum wrote in the study.

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