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NC lawmaker asked to return award on 'fracking' vote

Posted July 3, 2012
Updated July 5, 2012

— The General Assembly's decision to authorize natural gas drilling in North Carolina over Gov. Beverly Perdue's objections has led an environmental group to rescind its award to a House member who voted to override Perdue's veto.

The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters announced Tuesday it would ask Rep. Susi Hamilton of Wilmington to return her "Rising Star" award. The first-term Democrat had been honored for her pro-environmental record.

"I have to protect the integrity of our organization, and we have to get our award back on this one," Dan Crawford of the League of Conservation Voters said.

Hamilton had earlier opposed the legislation, and her name even appeared on a letter asking Perdue to veto the bill. She said her name wasn't supposed to be on that letter and that she never wanted the veto.

"This is probably the best compromise we're going to get for right now," she said of the bill, which would allow natural gas exploration, including a controversial drilling technique known as "fracking," as early as 2014.

Her override vote came shortly after Republican House leaders offered to extend a film industry tax credit. The $60 million credit could help entice a "Captain America" sequel to film in Hamilton's district.

Hamilton said there's no connection between her vote to legalize fracking and the tax credit.

"It is a win for North Carolina to have the film credit extended," she said.

Rep. Susi Hamilton Override vote costs lawmaker environmental award

Crawford said the timing of the flip-flop on the gas drilling bill is suspicious.

"It's kind of odd. It doesn't pass the smell test," he said. "If that's her decision, she needs to stand by it, just like I'm standing by our decision to take our award back."

House Speaker Thom Tillis didn't deny a deal was cut.

"Virtually every single bill outside of golf cart bills has to go through some negotiation to get members on board, and that's precisely what happened here," Tillis said.

Hamilton called the retraction of the award unfortunate, but she said the group has the right to give and take away its awards.

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  • geosol Jul 6, 2012

    Please explain how many "jobs" for North Carolinians will be magically created by allowing this right wing industry sponsored wish list bill to legalize polluting groundwater in North Carolina will create? The DENR report put it at several dozen, and that was before the reserve estimates were drastically reduced by folks who know what they are doing, not the clowns at the NCGS who conned the REPUBLICANS into fawning all over this mess.

  • geosol Jul 6, 2012

    Nice gig when you get little "gifts" from our little right wing REPUBLICAN friends in the legislature to make you change your vote. WOW!!! Don't know which is worse, her taking the bribes or the little right wing REPUBLICANS for offering her bribes for her vote. She sold out several generations of good North Carolinians by voting for this right wing REPUBLICAN industry wish list bill to legalize polluting our groundwater.

  • jet2rdu Jul 6, 2012

    At least Rep. Hamilton is looking to help increase employment and support businesses in her district.

    It is too bad many other politicians, on both sides, at both the state and national levels, are more worried about their own jobs and supporting their party's directions rather than making tough choices, like Susi, to help improve the lives and jobs of their constituents. Helping to create jobs, in this poor economy is job number 1.

  • mayhem Jul 6, 2012

    Will fracking affect Wilmington.
    ezLikeSundayMorning

    No, fracking itself will not directly affect Wilmington. But the oil and gas industry now has its foot in the door in NC, and their endgame is offshore drilling. That will affect Wilmington.

  • cwood3 Jul 6, 2012

    I'm sure she was paid enough to pass that bill!!
    Goes on every day!!

  • carolinacouple2u Jul 6, 2012

    You can't give an award and then ask for it back. If you could the Nobel Prise committee would have taken back Obama's peace prise a long time ago.

  • hppyhourhero Jul 6, 2012

    "Hamilton said there's no connection between her vote to legalize fracking and the tax credit"....Really?...Please do not insult our intelligence.

  • whatelseisnew Jul 6, 2012

    "Her override vote came shortly after Republican House leaders offered to extend a film industry tax credit. The $60 million credit could help entice a "Captain America" sequel to film in Hamilton's district."

    ANd thus the fundamental problem with Politicians that do not operate from core principles. If she truly thinks fracking is bad for enviromental reasons, then she should not have voted for the override.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Jul 6, 2012

    At first glance it sounds terrible (and I completely agree with taking back the award), but after thinking about it, it seems she was just negotiating in the best interest of her district. Will fracking affect Wilmington.

  • mayhem Jul 6, 2012

    The going rate for selling one's soul is pretty low in politics, but it sounds like this one went for real cheap!

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