Rev. Dr. William Barber II challenges North Carolina to do its part to slow global warming and avoid harms of fracked gas pipelines and power plants
The NC NAACP and climate justice nonprofit NC WARN have joined forces in a new statewide campaign calling on Governor Roy Cooper to phase out the import and use of fracked gas in North Carolina. They say this state must seize this urgent opportunity to help slow the global climate crisis, especially due to a failure of national leadership, and to stem the many other harms of fracked gas.
Rev. Dr. William Barber II and NC WARN’s Jim Warren announced the collaboration at a press conference Thursday at the Governor’s office. They hand-delivered a resolution endorsed by more than 50 nonprofits and faith leaders, and described plans to add more statewide voices to the new Emergency Methane Action campaign.
The groups said Duke Energy executives cannot be allowed to build 15-20 gas-fired power plants and the $5.6 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would bring fracked gas through eastern North Carolina, as planned.
Rev. Barber said today, “Globally and right here at home, people of color and poor people – who are least responsible for the high-consumption, fossil-fueled lifestyles scorching our planet – are being disproportionately harmed by climate disruption. The people of eastern North Carolina have been hit by several waves already. Thousands remain homeless seven months after a series of devastating floods. Meanwhile, our extremist legislature cuts taxes for their corporate backers and the billionaires who run the national government and reject the science of climate.”
Jim Warren said, “The Duke-Dominion Atlantic Coast Pipeline would disproportionately impact people of color and low-income families, their farms and drinking water. All of those along the route would face hazards from gas venting and leaking, as would those living near the proposed power plants.”
Data from NASA show the planet is heating more rapidly than climatologists had predicted, with a global record set in 2014 and then broken each of the next two years. In thousands of communities worldwide, people are suffering the effects of increasing heat, droughts, floods, rising seas and more.
Natural gas is mostly methane, and the world’s top scientists have found that methane is causing the surge of global warming in recent years. Many say the booming use of fracked gas to generate electricity is the main source of the super-potent greenhouse gas building up in the atmosphere.
From the well to the power plant, gas leaks and is vented, unburned, directly into the air, where it is 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. This makes gas – especially gas from fractured rock drilling or fracking – even worse than coal at causing global warming.
Warren added, “The world’s leading scientists insist that reducing the venting and leaking of unburned methane is absolutely crucial if humanity is to avoid runaway climate chaos. The worsening climate crisis requires extraordinary leadership. We believe Governor Cooper can take that lead, and we look forward to supporting him in this unprecedented opportunity and hope he will urge governors in other states to do the same.”
Duke Energy has joined the US gas industry in opposing regulations that would require capture of methane emissions from the natural gas and power systems.
Rev. Barber said, “We call on all the people of North Carolina to assert our authority over these important decisions about our children’s environment. The climate crisis worsens daily while our national leadership diddles. North Carolina’s governor has taken good first steps towards bringing our state in tune with the latest science. Forward Together, Not One Step Back…”