Roby Brock's did a live Internet-streamed interview today with Gov. Mike Beebe, the first in a planned series of Q&As with politicians, and it sounds like the governor got quite a few questions about environmental protection in Fayetteville shale exploration.
A question from an individual in Newton County asked Beebe why he is “ignoring environmental damage” caused by the use of fracking chemicals and processes used to extract gas from the horizontal shale play.
“Sounds like to me that his mind is made up,” Beebe said of the pointed question.
But he followed by saying he sought and obtained a moratorium on injection wells related to earthquakes in central arkansas. And with regard to enforcement of environmental rules, Beebe said his administration has “beefed up” the number of inspectors. Money to pay the extra inspectors came from natural gas lease payments to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. Beebe also said he is opposed to drilling under lakes and other important bodies of water.
“With a regard to a total moratorium on drilling, no I’m not for that,” Beebe said.
By the way, Beebe threw in with the anti-labor crowd on the Boeing dispute in South Carolina. He's wrong in thinking the NLRB decision that the company engaged in unfair labor practices has any implications in Arkansas, or anywhere else, as long as corporations follow the law. This was explained here before. The law explicitly prohibits retaliation against workers for striking. Boeing said it moved a production line because of a strike in Washington. It's bright-letter law. You can't do it, in a right-to-work state or anywhere else covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which means all 50 states. Thanks again to learned Arkansas native Lafe Solomon, acting as NLRB general counsel, for enforcing it.