There's a Third Option in the Fracking Debate

by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

The General Assembly just rushed through a bill essentially lifting the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in North Carolina, even before the rules being drafted by a state appointed commission to regulate the process have had a public hearing.

Many people are adamantly opposed to this, while others are just as certain that this is essential for our state's economic development. Partisans on both sides of the issue have, and probably will continue to, talk past one other, rather than honestly and reasonably discuss the merits or dangers associated with the process This seems another clear case where petty partisan politics gets in the way of good government.

Even for those of us who believe in property rights and the free market, and who oppose unnecessary government regulation and interference in the economy, some provisions of the Senate bill are troubling.

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Free the Vote Freedom Act

Call to Action from Free the Vote NC

It is time to take action to get HB 794, the Voter Freedom Act of 2013, released from the Senate Rules Committee. If we don't act soon, the bill will die and we'll have to start all over again in January 2015 to reform North Carolina's highly restrictive ballot access laws. 

As you may recall, in order to keep HB 794 during the last legislative session, we agreed to have it converted into a study bill. That effort was successful. The bill passed the House with a overwhelming 109-5 bipartisan vote. 

But once it got to the state Senate, it was sent to the Rules Committee where it has languished ever since. 

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Libertarian Alliance Needs Board Members

All board positions on the Libertarian State Leadership Alliance are up for election this year, and the alliance is seeking candidates to fill the positions. The LSLA is organized exclusively for educational purposes, more specifically to coordinate activities and share knowledge among Libertarian Party state chairs and affiliate parties.

 “LSLA is an important organization as it imparts institutional knowledge to the next generation of Libertarian Party leaders and candidates,” said outgoing vice chairman Ken Moellman. 

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Libertarians Join End Gerrymandering Now Coalition

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina has joined a coalition to end gerrymandering in the state. 

North Carolinians to End Gerrymandering Now is led by former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, a Republican, and former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, a Democrat. The coalition, formed last month, will work to bring a nonpartisan redistricting process to North Carolina. 

“The Libertarian Party is pleased to join this multi-partisan effort,” said LPNC Chair J.J. Summerell. “Libertarians believe voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around.” 

During its annual state convention in April the party adopted a platform plank calling for an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process. 

The coalition is an effort of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform, a nonpartisan group of citizens and organizations across the state. 

North Carolinians who want to join the campaign to get a nonpartisan, data-driven redistricting system in our state can go to to sign up. To learn more, call 919-833-0092 or email [email protected].

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