Monday numbers

Monday numbers

- in Fitzsimon File

2—number of times that Rep. Mitch Gillespie admitted during last week’s debate on fracking that legislative leaders were talking with the American Petroleum Institute about the industry actually funding positions to develop and oversee environmental regulations (Archives recording of 06-15-12 House debate, and “The fundamental folly of the fracking debate,” NC Policy Watch, June 15, 2012)

4—number of days since Rep. Gillespie said that legislation to allow fracking would ensure that regulations and enforcement would protect public safety ((Archives recording of 06-14-12 House debate)

76 million—amount in dollars that the 2011 budget slashed funding for the natural and economic resources budget (House Bill 200, 2011 Appropriations Act)

3 million—minimum number of gallons of water projected to be used per well in fracking in North Carolina (N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Oil and Gas Study, April 2012)

300—minimum number of chemical compounds identified by the industry as chemicals that have been used in fracturing fluid, including diesel fuel (Ibid)

6—minimum number of chemical additives included in any single fracturing fluid (Ibid)

7—number of years since Congress exempted fracking from federal regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act after heavy lobbying by oil and gas companies (“Fracking in North Carolina?” Southern Environmental Law Center)

28—days since the State of Vermont banned fracking within its borders (“Vermont Fracking Ban: Green Mountain State Is First In U.S. To Restrict Gas Drilling Technique,” Associated Press, May 16, 2012)

10—number of years since the price of natural gas has been as a low as its current price (“Economic realities make rush to legalize fracking a waste of time,” Will Morgan, Progressive Voices, April 26, 2012)

30—percentage decrease in the number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the U.S. since October (Ibid)

59,000—number of acres in the Sanford sub-basin in North Carolina where state geologists predict there might be natural gas (Ibid)

60 million—number of acres in the Marcellus Shale basin in the Northeast (Ibid)

42—percentage of North Carolinians whose drinking water is supplied by ground water potentially affected by fracking (“Fracking in North Carolina could carry extra risks,” Raleigh News & Observer, May 21, 2012)

75—percentage of residents of Moore County, one of the areas targeted for fracking, whose drinking water is supplied by groundwater (Ibid)

31—percentage of North Carolina voters who believe that lawmakers should legalize fracking in North Carolina now (Carolina Issues Poll, May 2012)

63—percentage of North Carolina voters who believe that lawmakers should wait for more health and safety studies before making a decision about fracking (Ibid)

387—average of number of jobs per year projected to be created by fracking in North Carolina (N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Oil and Gas Study, April 2012)

4,800—number of jobs cut from public schools in North Carolina by the budget passed by the General Assembly in 2011 (Statistical Profile, Public Schools of North Carolina, 2011-2012 School Year)

About the author

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina.