Fracking cheerleader Womack all-of-a-sudden worried about water quality:
“It would impact the county because that land, you know, there are taxes being paid to the county now, and it would reduce some of those taxes, so it's not a good deal for the county,” Commission Chairman Charlie Parks said.
Commissioner Jim Womack said while he was also concerned about solar farms not paying as much in taxes, he did not want to stand in the way of renewable energy development as long as taxpayers aren't bearing the burden in the long run. “[The solar farms] end up with potentially large amounts of disruption of the soil with storm water runoff, which we could bear the cost of later,” he said.
Yes, if they're not landscaped properly, Solar farms could exacerbate stormwater runoff. But it's standard procedure to install berms and other features to avoid such problems. What isn't standard, however, is Womack's concern for water quality. Here's another Commissioner from a neighboring County:
What happens to the water and chemicals that are injected into the ground in order to extract the natural gas? Mr. Womack said that it could be cleaned and reused over and over again. He did talk about putting the waste in sewer systems to get rid of it. There was also mention of holding the water in open water pits instead of contained water tanks.
Another concern that Mr. Womack tried to skirt around was the lack of disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process. He claimed that the chemicals were a trade secret and were protected just like trade secrets in other industries. It is protected by the Constitution of the State of North Carolina.
We, the citizens of North Carolina, have a right to know everything that potentially affects our health and well-being. Mr. Womack said that some of the chemicals could potentially cause cancer in large enough doses.
Mr. Womack claimed in order to get fracking companies to come to North Carolina, we must protect their secrets and we must make it easy for them by letting them have open water pits.
Why has Mr. Womack not fought for full disclosure and enclosed water tanks? He says that is an issue for the General Assembly. In my opinion, if he truly cared about the health, safety and welfare of his Lee County constituents and the rest of us downstream, he would be addressing the General Assembly to make sure fracking is as safe as possible and not making it as easy as possible to lure fracking companies to North Carolina.
Bolding mine. Jim Womack is a hypocrite, plain and simple. He cares a hell of a lot more about getting his hands on natural gas royalties than he does about Lee County's water quality. If you live in Lee County, I strongly suggest you attend this "informational" meeting on Solar PV farms. But bring your hip-waders, because it will be deep.