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About the Frack Free NC Alliance

“Frack-Free NC” is a network of grassroots organizations who believe that shale gas development using “fracking” and horizontal drilling cannot be done without bringing harm to our waters, land, air, communities and public health. We are working to keep North Carolina frack free. Learn more...
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NC river Blog

Why is FrackFreeNC Involved in Preventing Unneeded, Risky Pipelines?

42-inch-pipeline“Fracking” in NC is now less of a threat, with natural gas prices too low for drillers to bother with NC’s meager natural gas reserves. However, the next wave of damage by the natural gas industry is the mad dash to build pipelines.   Given the many impacts gas pipeline projects can have on communities, with little or no jobs or other benefits to impacted residents, FrackFreeNC realized that we must share knowledge and prepare to challenge unneeded, risky gas pipelines.

What’s Driving the Pipeline Building Boom?
Initially, it appeared to make economic sense to build pipelines to carry gas from highly productive shale formations to areas with little or no gas availability. However, many of us are aware this would actually increase the fracking that has been so damaging to water, air and land in communities, especially in West Virginia. The current plans for gas pipelines far outstrip the need for gas supplies in many areas, and probably even exceed the supply that would be available from shale formations in the coming years! Along with fracking itself, pipeline leaks are a major source of methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas, and have accelerated climate change.

So, why build? It turns out that pipeline companies, such as Piedmont Natural Gas, PSNC and Dominion Energy see this as a very secure source of profits. Electric utilities like Duke Energy and Dominion are joining the party. When the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approves projects, pipeline and utility companies can receive as high as a 14% rate of return (profit) on their pipelines, recovering construction costs PLUS profit from their ratepayers! FERC doesn’t do detailed reviews of the long term need for a pipeline or supply, so approvals can force ratepayers to pay for construction costs and profit, even if the pipeline isn’t needed!

1410822833-pipelineroute-640x360The ACP—A Pipeline That’s Costly, Unneeded and Dangerous

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 42 inch, highly pressurized pipeline starting at the southern end of the Marcellus shale in West Virginia, would take gas extracted in severely impacted communities and move it through VA and 8 counties in NC, ending near Lumberton. Only 18 permanent jobs would be created, only large industries would be able to tap in to the pipeline, and there probably wouldn’t be enough gas to fill planned pipelines anyway.

Recent studies have shown that: 1) it’s utility customers who would pay the $5 Billion cost of construction even if the pipeline is under-utilized [insert link to Cathy Kunkel’s study)
2) there’s simply no need for more gas pipelines to the southeast US![insert link to the Synapse Study]
3) recent, hastily built pipelines have more failures than any pipelines built since before 1940!

Get involved, to protect communities, landowners, utility ratepayers, and the environment!

Sept. 17: Standing up for Safe Energy Jobs & Water Justice

Clean Water for North Carolina invites Frack Free NC allies and activists to the organization’s Annual Public meeting with featured speakers on gas pipelines, fracking, methane, coal ash and climate. This event is at the Statesville Civic Center from 1:30 – 5:00 pm. Admission is free for current members and students, and $25 for new members. You can register here.



Sue Fife (left) and Lisa Hughes, Person County residents

1:30—Welcome (Andrea Emanuel, Vice Chair, Clean Water for NC Board of Directors & Hope Taylor, Executive Director)

1:40-2:45—Communities Protecting their Health and Water from Coal Ash Contamination

Striving for Coal Ash Justice in the Shadow of the Roxboro Power Plant (Lisa Hughes & Sue Fife, Person County residents)


Larry Aiken (left) and Roger Hollis, Cleveland County

The forgotten part of Cleveland County’s fight for clean water and energy (Roger Hollis & Larry Aiken, Cleveland County residents)

NC coal ash disposal, and reuse: Parts of the solution? (Xavier Boatright, CWFNC)

The fight to save public “health advisories” for well water in NC (Katie Hicks, CWFNC)

2:45-3:15—Break with refreshments

3:15-5:00 Energy Justice, Climate, and Retooling NC’s Energy Future


Nancy LaPlaca

What’s Happened with Fracking in NC, and Why the Rush to Build Gas Pipelines? (Hope Taylor, CWFNC)

The Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline and NC’s Indigenous and African American communities (Ericka Faircloth, CWFNC)

Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire: Why Turning from Coal to Fracked Gas is a Terrible Idea (Nancy LaPlaca, Senior Energy Analyst, NC WARN & The Climate Times)

Redesigning NC’s Energy Future for Jobs, Water and Economic Justice: What Renewables and Energy Efficiency Can Do (Hope Taylor, CWFNC)

Thanks and farewell (Nydia Morales, Secretary, CWFNC Board of Directors and Katie Hicks, Associate Director)

Deadline for Comments Tomorrow to FERC on AC Pipeline!

Tomorrow, August 5th is the deadline for comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion is aggressively recruiting comments in support of the pipeline. FERC NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU! Clean Water for NC has gathered talking points you can use to comment in your own words, click here. Environmental, climate and health concerns of pipelines and compressor stations, safety and economic impacts and why the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not only unnecessary, but actually suppresses job-creating efficiency and renewable energy development are all important for FERC to hear about!

Select the points about which you are the most concerned and write them in your own words. Go to https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx to fill out the short comment registration form. You will be sent a link from FERC to comment, and be sure to enter Docket number CP15-554. Copy and paste your comment into the comment form by tomorrow, August 5 and submit!
Questions? Contact Clean Water for NC at 919-401-9600 or hope@cwfnc.org.

Recording of Peoples’ Hearing on Atlantic Coast Pipeline now Available

The recording of the Peoples Hearing on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is now available here: https://vimeo.com/177434872

We did have technical difficulties, so not all comments were captured.

Clean Energy Revolution in Philadelphia

Check out these images of our FrackFreeNC partners participating in the Clean Energy Revolution in Philadelphia on July 24th!


Peoples’ Hearing on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Last night about 60 enthusiastic people showed up for the Peoples’ Hearing on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Fayetteville. Local folks, as well as grassroots organizations made comments about the dangers of this highly pressurized natural gas pipeline. Residents talked about Dominion complicating their lives, being misleading and not giving them reliable information, health, safety, economic impacts.


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New Report: Dangerous Neighbors: Pipelines, Compressor Stations and Environmental Injustice

Clean Water for North Carolina is releasing a new short report – “Dangerous Neighbors: Gas Pipelines, Compressor Stations, and Environmental Injustice”. The U.S. is currently in the midst of an expansion of the natural gas infrastructure that has far outpaced the knowledge of impacts on people and the communities in which they live. With natural gas being touted as the “clean” bridge between coal and renewable energy, regulators and legislated incentives have cleared the way for fossil fuel corporations to profit from the expansion of natural gas infrastructure while communities bear the costs. Now that measures of those costs are becoming clearer, many are calling for the brakes to be applied. This report explores the risks and consequences of this expansion, and how they affect residents and communities.

Highlights of the report include:

  • When pipelines and compressor stations and other gas infrastructure are built, they often deliver environmental injustice by changing the physical environment of communities and effectively removing community choice in defining the built environment or the types of energy in which they can invest.
  • Living next to compressor stations is harmful to nearby residents’ health. Proximity to these facilities is associated with nosebleeds, rashes, headaches, and exposure to cancer-causing emissions. Especially along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and near the compressor station planned for Northampton County, we see potential for disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations.
  • Incidents of pipeline accidents have actually increased, reaching highs not seen since the pre-1940 constructed pipelines, perhaps due to the sheer speed of the expansion without adequate oversight.
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has essentially acted as a rubber stamp for pipeline approvals, showing no regard for environmental justice considerations.
  • The new Atlantic Coast Pipeline being constructed by Dominion and Duke Energy is routed to go through 8 counties in North Carolina, most of which have higher than state average poverty levels, as well as high populations of African American or Indigenous residents, or both.
  • Experts are warning that pipelines may quickly become stranded assets, as gas supply or demand dwindles, leaving customers on the hook in the form of higher rates.
  • The expansion of natural gas infrastructure endangers communities worldwide, as we now know the release of methane into the atmosphere is significantly amplifying global warming. It is low income communities and communities of color who will suffer first, and most deeply.


Read the full report here.

Residents impacted by coal ash respond to DEQ announcement on cleanup

Join us for a press conference & rally
1PM, Thursday, May 19
200 Blount St., Raleigh (sidewalk across from the Governor’s Mansion)

Boiling Springs coal ash hearing - ACT bannerYou’re invited! Neighbors of Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds and their allies will hold a press conference in Raleigh to respond to the Department of Environmental Quality’s classifications for cleaning up coal ash ponds across the state, released today. Residents will also respond to the recent news that Governor McCrory, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Duke Energy worked together to rescind hundreds of “do-not-drink” advisories and will propose a better path forward.

Fracking Impacts, Methane Releases, & Huge Implications for Climate Change

Don’t miss the full video of Dr. Tony Ingraffea’s presentation at NC State University March 15th: “Shale Gas/Oil: Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells and Methane Emissions, and Implications for Energy Policy.” View it here:

Full-Ingraffea-Prestn-Final-720p-4-16-16 from Clean Water for NC on Vimeo.

Dr. Tony Ingraffea Wakes up Federal Administration on need for Methane Reductions, Brings Hopeful Message on Energy Policy to North Carolina

Dr. Ingraffea with No Fracking in Stokes leadership!

Dr. Ingraffea with No Fracking in Stokes leadership!

FrackFree NC hosted Dr. Tony Ingraffea this week for presentations at UNC-Wilmington, NC State University, East Carolina University and a community reception at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh.

His powerful presentation (view Powerpoint slides – takes about 1 minute to download) focused on the fact that methane emissions from oil and gas operations in the US are leaking even MORE than the 4 to 8% of the methane extracted that Ingraffea and co-authors estimated in 2011! This means that the amount of methane in the atmosphere and resulting climate impacts have greatly increased in the last 8 years, DUE MOSTLY TO U.S. oil and gas operations. He pointed out the Solutions Project, which projects an optimal mix of 100% renewable energy sources for every state, including NC, by 2050!

Here are two videos originally included in Dr. Ingraffea’s powerpoint presentation, to show Direct Venting of Methane From Pipeline and Compressor Operations:

Dr. Ingraffea played a key role as expert witness in the Dimock, PA residents’ case against Cabot Oil and Gas, which led to a $4.2 million dollar judgment for 2 families who had their well water contaminated, a landmark decision for residents impacted by fracking!


Dr. Ingraffea with Chatham Research Group and Clean Water for NC.

Don’t miss the full video of Dr. Tony Ingraffea’s presentation at NC State University March 15th: “Shale Gas/Oil: Latest Evidence on Leaky Wells and Methane Emissions, and Implications for Energy Policy.” View it here:

Full-Ingraffea-Prestn-Final-720p-4-16-16 from Clean Water for NC on Vimeo.