@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Energy and Mining Panel makeup

Posted July 11, 2012
Updated July 12, 2012

— We have a story online now about the makeup of the news Mining and Energy Commission, which will oversee the development of fracking rules for North Carolina. Laura Leslie will have a report on the 6 p.m. news Wednesday night. 

Among the people we spoke with are Ray Covington, who both sits on land conservation boards and is part of a company helping to negotiate mineral rights leases.

Covington Energy Panel 071112

We quote him in the story, but he sent a follow up e-mail about potential conflicts of interest: 


The Mining and Energy Commission, like all of North Carolina’s regulatory commissions, is designed to have a range of people with a range of expertise. With that expertise almost always comes some interest in the matter regulated. This commission, for example, includes people who are designated representatives of industry who will benefit financially from the regulations, a representative of a law firm that will likely do work on shale gas development and whose clients will be affected by the regulation, landowners whose interests will be affected by the regulation, and local elected officials whose political fortunes and compensation may rise or fall on how they represent local interests on the commission. These interests are the things that qualify these people to serve. To the extent that individual’s interests create ethical conflicts on specific issues under consideration by the commission, this commission, like all North Carolina regulatory commissions, will be subject to the state’s conflict-of-interest rules and likely will have its own conflict-of-interest policies as well. When there are specific matters voted on by the commission that create conflicts of interest for one of its members, the conflict of interest rules will direct whether and how that member may participate in that discussion and vote. I, as every other member, will follow those rules.


It's also worth noting that the makup of the mining commission has changed over the past month. Here is how the membership is prescribed by Senate Bill 810, which is on Gov. Bev Perdue's desk and will tweak Senate Bill 820:


(1) The Chair of the North Carolina State University Minerals Research Laboratory Advisory Committee, or the Chair's designee, ex officio.

(2) The State Geologist, or the State Geologist's designee, ex officio.

(3) The Assistant Secretary of Energy for the Department of Commerce, ex officio.

(4) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is a member of a nongovernmental conservation interest.

(5) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is an elected official of a municipal government located in the Triassic Basin of North Carolina.

(6) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is a representative of the mining industry.

(7) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall be a geologist with experience in oil and gas exploration and development.

(8) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate who is a member of a nongovernmental conservation interest.

(9) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate who is a member of a county board of commissioners of a county located in the Triassic Basin of North Carolina.

(10) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate who is a representative of the mining industry.

(11) One appointed by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate who shall be an engineer with experience in oil and gas exploration and development.

(12) One appointed by the Governor who shall be a representative of a publicly traded natural gas company.

(13) One appointed by the Governor who shall be a licensed attorney with experience in legal matters associated with oil and gas exploration and development.

(14) One appointed by the Governor who is a member of the Environmental Management Commission and knowledgeable in the principles of water and air resources management.

(15) One appointed by the Governor who is a member of the Commission for Public Health and knowledgeable in the principles of waste management."


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