Protesters plan to greet state lawmakers
Posted November 27, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — When state lawmakers will return to Raleigh Sunday night for yet another legislative session, they will be met by opponents of the alternative gas drilling method known as "fracking."
In looking for ways to create jobs and generate energy closer to home, the legislature last spring approved Senate Bill 709, the Energy Jobs Act..
Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the bill, but the Senate overrode her action. House leaders have not yet been able to assemble the votes needed for an override, but they’re widely expected to try a vote during this session.
The bill would push the state to investigate two controversial methods of generating power --offshore drilling and hydraulic fracturing, where liquid is injected at high pressure to release natural gas from deep shale deposits. The bill also revamps the state’s Energy Policy Council to make it more friendly to the energy industry.
Participants of the local Occupy Wall Street movement plan to join environmental concerns group Croatan Earth First in voicing their support for the governor's veto and opposition to the bill.
The legislative session is expected to last three days, but could stretch if revenue bills are introduced.
The unusual Sunday-night-on-a-holiday-weekend session has led some critics to accuse GOP leaders of underhanded tactics. But GOP leaders have repeatedly said the purpose of Sunday night’s session is to introduce bills that the law says must be "read in" on consecutive days. The first reading is strictly procedural and does not involve a vote.
“There is no plan to take any recorded votes on Sunday,” House Speaker Thom Tillis’s Chief of Staff Charles Thomas confirmed again earlier this week.