In the News
Environmental group rescinds award after Rep. Susi Hamilton’s vote for fracking
Jul 3, 2012
The N.C. League of Conservation Voters wants an award back from state Rep. Susi Hamilton after her vote to override Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of the controversial fracking legislation.
In a release, the League announced it was rescinding its “Rising Star” award given to Hamilton on June 20 for her pro-environment record in her first term. It will deliver a letter to Hamilton’s office today, asking her to return the award plaque.
Hamilton made a deal with General Assembly Republicans to vote for the fracking override in exchange for their support of legislation to extend the state’s film industry incentives for a year.
“Last night Captain America prevailed over clean drinking water and the property rights of North Carolinians,” said Dan Crawford, the League’s director of governmental relations. “We found out that even this Green Tie Award winner ‘has her price.’ This was too big of a vote to sell out the environment on an issue that will change the landscape of our state for years to come.”
Hamilton has defended her vote for the fracking override, saying the bill includes proper safeguards and could help prevent more damaging legislation from being implemented down the road. She said Tuesday it was “strange” that the League would take back the award, saying that she first heard the idea of supporting the final fracking language from a League staffer because it could have been much worse next year if Republicans control the General Assembly and the Governor’s Mansion.
Hamilton also said she has an otherwise exemplary environmental record and that she voted Tuesday against the sea-level rise bill that environmental groups also opposed.
Tori Jones, a Hamilton spokeswoman, also defended the legislator.
“I just wish that the environmentalists would understand that fracking is coming,” she said. “It’s an inevitability. Our responsibility is to mitigate the damage that it will do, and this bill does that, it mitigates the damage that the industry will do.”
Crawford said the League works to hold lawmakers accountable for their actions through a legislative scorecard and political action.
“New Hanover County deserves someone that will better balance the environmental impacts of the decisions they make,” he said. “We will work to ensure that in future elections.”