We took a look at statements made by Pat McCrory, a Republican and former Charlotte Mayor, and Walter Dalton, a Democrat and the current lieutenant governor, when they appears "On the Record" with David Crabtree.
During their turns On the Record, both men pointed to studies that back their positions.
Referring to a study by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, McCrory said, “Our own report has said it can be done safely in North Carolina.”
"The fact that oil and gas production activities are exempt from a number of federal environmental statutes that otherwise apply to industrial activities places a special burden on oil and gas‐producing states to create adequate state regulatory programs," the report notes.
The report says fracking could be done in North Carolina, but made a list of 27 policy recommendations to the General Assembly, not all of which have been followed at this point.
While the report is not an unqualified endorsement of the process, it does give McCrory a rational basis to make this claim.
It is worth noting that environmental groups have been critical of the DENR report, saying that it does not fully take into account all the risks at hand.
Dalton pointed to other information that he says shows, "If you frack all you possibly can frack in North Carolina, it would produce six days of national supply....That tells me fracking will never be done in a commercial sense in North Carolina."
Whether the fact that North Carolina has limited supply means companies wouldn't try to produce gas here is an open question. Environmental groups point out that the price of natural gas is very low right now, meaning the economic incentive to come here is depressed.
For his part, McCrory says the state should open the way to fracking and let the business community decide whether it is worthwhile.
"I want the private sector to determine if there's gas here," McCrory said.
McCrory has assailed Dalton's position on fracking. He says the lieutenant governor has helped close North Carolina to gas exploration.
“The first thing we need to do is increase revenue in the state of North Carolina, which impacts how much in taxes we charge," McCrory told Crabtree. "That’s why I’m really promoting energy exploration both off-shore and inland in North Carolina. And that is something that Mr. Dalton has now started he’s totally against.”
That is a charge that McCrory has repeated on the campaign trail.
Dalton's campaign says the Democrat favors an "all of the above" approach to natural gas drilling. Dalton himself told Crabtree, “I don’t oppose fracking if it makes sense and we can do it safely.”
And at the time of Perdue's veto, Dalton said that he disagreed with the governor's move. The Associated Press reported:
It is therefore inaccurate to say that Dalton is "totally against" energy exploration.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.