These are the Stakes with Donald Trump

In Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump said that his temperament is his “greatest asset.” Take a moment to see evidence of his temperament.

nuclear-explosion

Credit: Wikipedia.org

Then admit, if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, “These are the Stakes.”

Then, decide now to vote. Whether you “like” Hillary or not, I’m fairly confident you’d like not to be on the endangered species list. Well, that will be the status of every human on earth with a President Trump.

Or, you could just sit this one out, put out your picnic blanket and bucket of beer and go out watching the big bright light.

© The Appalachian Chronicle, 2016 (not sure about 2017 just yet).

FERC Independence Challenged by Nonprofits

Hundreds of Nonprofit Organizations Join to Demand Reform of ‘Rogue Agency’

WASHINGTON – More than 180 organizations representing communities across America, including West Virginia, called on leaders in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold congressional hearings into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) extensive history of bias and abuse. The groups are also requesting reform of the Natural Gas Act, which the groups say, gives too much power to FERC and too little to state and local officials.

“The time has now come for Congress to investigate how FERC is using its authority and to recognize that major changes are in fact necessary in order to protect people, including future generations, from the ramifications of FERC’s misuse of its power and implementation of the Natural Gas Act,” says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and a primary organizer of the effort.

“The Greenbrier River Watershed has two pipelines proposed: Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley, yet FERC refused to do a Programmatic EIS to look at the need for two pipelines,” says Leslee McCarty, coordinator of the Greenbrier River Watershed Association.  “We hope Congress, instead of speeding up approvals for these projects, will force FERC to look closely at need, especially in light of global climate change.”

“The FERC represents the epitome of what the world has come to recognize as a rogue regime: unbridled power over citizens and unquestionable allegiance to and cooperation with unethical, socially unjust and environmentally dismissive corporations,” says Monroe County, WV resident Laurie Ardison,  co-chair of POWHR (Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights).” For the citizens of this country to be victims of the FERC is unconscionable. Congress must reign in this agency which left unchecked, will continue to foster incalculable harms as the fossil fuel industry develops beyond need.”

McCarty adds, “Fracked gas may prove to be even more of a dirty fuel than coal. Yet in the US, and especially in West Virginia, we are asked to embrace this dirty business as our savior. It is a testimony to slick public relations and strategic campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies, and keeps us on a dangerous path to certain disastrous climate change and boom and bust economic development. This is the time for West Virginia to look to revitalize our energy portfolio and keep sustainable jobs, not continue to be led down the painful road we have traveled in the past.”

The letter to Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairwoman Lisa Murkoski (R-AK), Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA), signed by 182 community organizations representing communities in 35 states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia as well as the District of Columbia, argues that FERC’s review and approval process for jurisdictional pipeline projects is infected by bias; and that it is resulting in uncontrolled and irresponsible proliferation of unneeded natural gas pipelines. Finally, the letter charges the agency with misusing provisions in the law to strip people and states of their legal rights, to prevent fair public participation in the pipeline review process, and to improperly use the power of eminent domain to take private property and public lands in a way that inflicts unforgivable harm to rights, jobs, and communities.

The letter details how FERC has implemented the Natural Gas Act in ways that deliberately undermine public input. FERC has prevented communities from challenging projects before the exercise of eminent domain and pipeline construction, made decisions to benefit its Commissioners, and used conflicted consultants to handle much of the review process.

In addition to calling for hearings into FERC and the Natural Gas Act, the letter opposes any further advancement of language in the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 meant to shorten critical pipeline review periods. Signers of the letter argue that the proposed law should be held in abeyance until after the hearings, where Congress will learn “how people’s rights, state’s rights, and the environment are already being abused under the implementation of the Natural Gas Act and so will be further harmed by passage of provisions proposed in the new law.”

Upon Congressional review, DRN and fellow parties demand the reforms necessary to address FERC’s extensive abuse of power, which requires revising the Natural Gas Act to prevent the misuse and exploitation that has been rampant. Additionally, the organizations seek affirmative action to remedy FERC’s problematic funding structure.

“FERC is corrupt and needs to be reformed,” says Paul L Gierosky, cofounder, Coalition to Reroute Nexus. “The evidence is overwhelming and clear as is set forth in the request for Congressional Hearings. It is time for Congress to hold FERC accountable.”

“The number of frack gas pipelines is exploding and the feds are not only not applying appropriate oversight, but are in fact also enabling the trampling of people’s property rights, public health standards, and environmental protection,” says David Pringle, NJ Campaign Director, Clean Water Action. “This letter is a clarion call to action for Congress to rein in this modern day Wild West that if left unchecked will lead to even worse abuses and explosions.”

 

A pdf of the letter is available here:
http://ohvec.org/ferc-hrg-sign-on-letter/

N.C. State Senate Candidate Calls for Renewed Commitment on Working Class Issues

Art Sherwood slams GOP assault on workers’ rights, calls upon Democrats to not forget longtime alliance with working class

LENOIR, N.C. Art Sherwood, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina Senate District 45, today called for a renewed commitment to the working class by the Democratic Party and their traditional labor allies. He also praised the working class and pledged to fight the GOP assault upon working class rights.

Art Sherwood primary

Art Sherwood

“Should the people of our five-county district entrust me with the privilege of serving them in the North Carolina State Senate, they can rest assured that I will do all that I can to fight for the working class which is the backbone of our region, state and nation. I will vigorously oppose the ongoing efforts by Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican-controlled General Assembly to rob workers of their rights and fair wages.”

Senate District 45 includes five Appalachian counties – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga. Sherwood is a resident of Caldwell County. The General Election will be held on November 8.

Sherwood continued, “The Republicans have denied teachers and other public employees due process and, through the passage of House Bill 2, made North Carolina one of the most hostile states in the nation towards labor. Their scheme to prevent local municipalities from raising the minimum wage has not gone unnoticed.”

He argued, “Not only is this not in keeping with the rich tradition that labor has played in making the Tar Heel State great, it also does great harm to families. That is why, this Labor Day, I am emphasizing the honored role of labor and promising that I will strive to ensure that the Democratic Party in North Carolina makes championing labor rights a top priority.”

He noted, “North Carolina is a so-called ‘Right-to-Work’ state. Well, let’s look at what happens to families in those states. Household incomes are $535 less per month than in states that protect labor; workers and their children are more likely not to have health insurance; more working people and their children live in poverty; states spend less per student on education; workplace deaths are 36 percent higher; and, wages are lower.”

Sherwood observed, “As I travel the district’s counties, the valuable role that labor has played in making our communities what they are is everywhere. However, it is also true that, sadly, the effects of reliance upon a mono-economy can be seen also in shuttered factories and closed stores. We must not forget the first and never again allow the second.”

He continued, “Let us not forget that Caldwell County was built by blue-collar workers that built the railroads that hauled the timber that became furniture at the hands of factory workers. Let us not forget the hard work of farming, which remains a crucial part of the High County’s economy. Let us not forget the caring teachers, assistants, support personnel and administrators who pour their lives into our children despite their long days and low wages. We must remember the role of those enriching our lives through the arts, crafts and music. We must remember those folks having to hold down two jobs – often without any benefits – just to feed their children.”

Concluding, Sherwood asserted, “We must remember that it is the working class that built our homes, our communities. That is why I will fight for collective bargaining; will oppose “business incentives” that excludes local workers; will support grants for the arts and crafts; will work with those seeking to diversify and expand our economic opportunities; and support alternative energy industries that will provide good-paying and rewarding jobs while weaning us from our dependence upon fossil fuels.”

See also:

Art Sherwood Calls for Moratorium on Fracking in North Carolina

Learn more

Website

Facebook

Twitter: @ArtSherwood

To My ‘Bernie or Bust’ Friends: Revolutions Take Time, Even in the Digital Age

Bernie ignited the spirit of revolution, but it is left to others to strengthen and sustain it

By Michael M. Barrick

When Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, the cameras repeatedly captured images of Bernie supporters in tears. I was sad also, as I have been a solid Bernie supporter since shortly after he announced. I was sad to see what I felt was the best candidate have to concede; I was sad for the young people who had invested so much in his campaign. Mostly I was sad because I knew the revolution he had ignited had been slowed down.

Bernie SandersBut it is not dead. I had to keep reminding myself of that throughout Bernie’s speech. Unlike the “Bernie or Bust” crowd though, I began to realize that the Democratic Party was still making history and the Republican Party wants to turn back history.

Speaking of history, it is its lessons that also give me hope that the revolution is not dead. One example should encourage all of those who supported Senator Sanders – the Civil Rights movement. It began with the earliest abolitionists of the 18th century and led to the Civil War. It provided us with the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Civil Rights movement fought against the KKK, Jim Crow and separate facilities. Its leaders were murdered. Presidents had to call out the National Guard to allow those in the movement to exercise their basic human rights and civil liberties. Still, the movement stayed alive and successfully fought for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 2008, the Civil Rights movement saw the culmination of its centuries of work in the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

Yet today, the Black Lives Matter movement remains controversial. This is proof that revolutions, even when they have clear moments of victory, are never over. That is because they are about ideas, not people. Yes, the people implement and embrace the ideas, but it is the power of the ideas that ensures that any revolution or movement will succeed. Great leaders die. Great ideas don’t.

That is an encouraging truth, but also a sobering truth. It requires of the revolution’s participants unwavering commitment and intellectual honesty. In short, for the revolution to be sustained, it must be defined. That is why Senator Sanders ignited the spark. It was already smoldering. The Occupy Wall Street movement was just one ember in the movement. The growth of social and environmental justice groups across the nation and globe are evidence of grassroots movements everywhere to protect the most vulnerable among us and the environment which sustains life.

So, the movement is not dead. But we must not lose focus of what started it – income inequality, crony capitalism, and a corrupt political process.

These problems – too long ignored – have led to compromised and failed governmental and societal institutions. With so many in poverty, with so many struggling with college debt, with others unable to afford college at all, with people working multiple jobs, with multiple generations living under one roof, with black people being targeted by police, with police being targeted by domestic terrorists, with health care being hijacked by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, with our reliance upon fossil fuels, with climate change, with crumbling inner cities and infrastructure, with voting rights under attack – with this many problems and more being ignored – we can say for sure that the revolution is not dead.

Has it suffered a setback? It would seem so. But if we wake up to President-elect Trump on Nov. 9, the revolution will be in the crosshairs of the executive branch, and the weapons of war in the hands of a megalomaniac.

So, before you turn your back and “walk out,”  stop and think. And remember this – there is not an “app” that you can download to any of your digital devices to make this revolution happen any faster. You must intentionally engage others in your community. Listen. Learn. Strive to understand before being understood. Be nice. Treat others as you want to be treated.  Run for office. Read. Think for yourself. Don’t buy into conspiracy theories; that is intellectual laziness. Besides, the “bad guys” aren’t as organized as conspiracy theorists suggest. They just lack scruples.

As an aside, I will note that perhaps the greatest thing about participating in a revolution is the friends you make along the way. I share two photographs below from my own journey. The first, from 2002 at the old state capitol in Raleigh, was taken as we were working to have the North Carolina General Assembly pass a judicial campaign reform law. It did. Among those in the picture are some folks who remain good friends. Others, such as U.S. Senator Robert Morgan, in the front row on the left, have passed along. Indeed, Senator Morgan died earlier this month. But his legacy as an independent thinker and my memories of him live on. In fact, they inspire me to keep fighting until, I too, draw my last breath. The other photo was taken 12 years later in Weston, W.Va. In that photo are several people who became friends because of our common call – ending fracking and related pipeline development in the Mountain State. I was privileged to work with these folks and others to form the Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance.

NC gang

Some of the team, including the late U.S. Senator Robert Morgan (front row left) that worked to pass judicial campaign reform in North Carolina in 2002. Photo courtesy of Bob Phillips.

Wv gang

Some of the founding members of the Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance, meeting in Weston, W.Va. in 2014. Photo courtesy of John Cobb.

While I am back in North Carolina again, I have not given up the fight in West Virginia. My friends deserve better, so we stay in touch and look for ways to help and support one another, even though separated by distance. Presently, I am heading up the campaign for Art Sherwood, a progressive candidate for the North Carolina State Senate. He is determined to move North Carolina forward again after six years of incredibly mean-spirited and regressive GOP leadership. I have already made many good friends in just the two months I’ve been with the campaign.

These people are just a few of the thousands I’ve been privileged to meet over 44 years or so of hell-raising (I participated in my first political campaigns in 1972). I can’t begin to put a value on the relationships. We encourage one another. We sustain one another. So, please don’t abandon the revolution. You’ll not only be cheating society, you’ll be cheating  yourself.

There is no question that we need a revolution. The American Dream has fragmented us into tribes. (Ironic, huh?). Our original national motto was “E Pluribus Unum,” which is Latin for, “Out of the many, one.”

The truth is, we are too diverse of a nation to ever be truly one ethnically or racially. We are too set in our ways on religion to ever be of one mind on that, nor should we be. We will always debate the proper role of government. But, if we are to survive as a nation – if we are to thrive as a community of people – then the revolution must continue. But it must do so calmly, patiently, and peacefully.

And, it can only be done in the context of community. Or, it will fail.

© Appalachian Chronicle, 2016

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NC State Senate Candidate Blames GOP for Geologist’s Resignation

Art Sherwood asserts that an anti-science bias and political correctness has caused GOP to undermine research by those protecting public health and the environment

LENOIR, N.C.  – Art Sherwood, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina Senate District 45, said today that the resignation of a founding geologist from the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission reveals the consequences of the anti-science, climate-change denying Republican Governor Pat McCrory and the GOP-led legislature.

Art Sherwood primary

Art Sherwood

Indeed, according to a news report in the Raleigh News & Observer and several other outlets, Stanley Riggs of East Carolina University said in his resignation letter, “I believe the once highly respected and effective science panel has been subtly defrocked and is now an ineffective body.” Riggs, who has worked on coastal issues for North Carolina more than 50 years, also said, “I can’t influence the legislature, but I can educate the public. That’s what I do.”

Sherwood said, “Mr. Riggs’s resignation is the result of a stunning rejection of science by Governor Pat McCrory and the GOP-led legislature. That is ironic in light of McCrory’s insistence that the NBA’s decision to cancel their All-Star game scheduled in Charlotte in 2017 was motivated by ‘political correctness.’ It is simply hypocritical for Republicans to talk about political correctness when Mr. Riggs felt he had no choice but to resign because the GOP is more concerned about appealing to its base than it is in finding solutions to our state and nation’s problems, such as climate change, which Mr. Riggs has been studying.”

Sherwood added, “Our citizens rightfully expect that our elected officials will identify and tackle the tough problems. It is obvious the Republicans in Raleigh have no intention of acknowledging our problems, let alone solving them. That is why I say, everywhere I go, ‘I am ready, willing and able to serve – now.’”

He concluded, “I have identified preserving the environment for future generations as a cornerstone of my campaign. That is why I have called for a moratorium on fracking based on the Precautionary Principle. I call now on the Republicans in Raleigh to quit obstructing the work of the scientists doing the important work of protecting public health and the environment that supports our very lives.”

Senate District 45 includes five counties – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga. Sherwood is a resident of Caldwell County. The General Election will be held on November 8.

 

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Contact the Campaign

To speak with Art Sherwood, please call (828) 434-0563. To speak with Campaign Manager Michael Barrick, please call (828) 434-8520.

Additional Information

Position Papers

Faith in Politics and Government

The Environment: Fracking and Related Pipeline Development

 News Releases

Art Sherwood Issues Position Paper on Faith in Politics and Government

Art Sherwood Refutes Claims by McCrory of ‘Carolina Comeback’

Sherwood Slams Effort by Watauga Republicans to Suppress ASU Student Voting

Art Sherwood Calls for Positive Campaign, Opponent Agrees

Art Sherwood Calls for Moratorium on Fracking in North Carolina

Learn more

Website

Facebook

Twitter: @ArtSherwood

Note: Michael Barrick is also the owner of the Appalachian Chronicle.

N.C. State Senate Candidate Supports Industrial Hemp

Democrat Art Sherwood cites report that says region could lose 34 percent of jobs in coming years, calls for support of farmers, small businesses and artists

LENOIR, N.C.Art Sherwood, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina State Senate District 45, today said that the policies of Republican Governor Pat McCrory and the GOP-led General Assembly have led to a dismal economy, especially for Northwestern North Carolina.

Art Sherwood primary“The claims by the Republicans in Raleigh of a ‘Carolina Comeback’ are ludicrous,” claimed Sherwood. He cited a recent article in the online edition of the Watauga Democrat, which reported “ … that the northwest region of the state, including Watauga County, was estimated to lose about 34 percent of all its jobs in the coming years.”

Sherwood explained, “Why are we projected to lose jobs in our region? Because the Republicans have cut taxes on the most wealthy, shifting the tax burden to the middle class. They have raised taxes on goods and services. Thousands of jobs were lost when McCrory refused federal funds for healthcare for our state’s poorest citizens. The attack upon public education by the GOP is driving teachers out of the profession. I have heard loud and clear from them that they will not stay in the classroom if the attacks continue.”

Sherwood continued, “It is time to quit blaming others or past officials for our problems today. Our job is to fix them, not complain about them. That is what citizens rightfully expect of their elected officials. To that end, I will work to ensure that none of our communities become dependent upon boom-and-bust mono-economies, such as what happened in Caldwell County with the furniture industry. While it is true that it provided many wonderful jobs and the dignity that goes with it, it is also true that the industry has largely abandoned the area.”

Sherwood said, “Whatever the reason for the loss of jobs, it is our responsibility to diversify our economy and support small businesses and agriculture. We know the value of Google in Lenoir. The impact of Appalachian State on Boone’s economy is massive and critical. Health care offers many good jobs in our areas. For that we are thankful. But it’s not enough. We must remember how important agriculture is and has been for the five High Country counties in Senate District 45. We must encourage and support small business owners, who are the backbone of every community’s economy.”

Art color logoSpecifically, said Sherwood, “As we move forward, local sustainability will be as important as ever. We must make small businesses a priority. We need to ease the burdens of starting a new business. We should support permaculture, microlending, green taxes, ecological footprinting, and fair trade as ways of strengthening communities within our region.” He added, “Many in the arts community are working hard to revitalize their communities. They deserve our support through grants and micro-lending.”

Sherwood pointed out that a law took effect in North Carolina in October 2015 that recognizes the potential importance of industrial hemp and established a commission to create and regulate an industrial hemp program. It also established licensure and reporting procedures and distinguishes hemp from marijuana. Yet the commission has not been funded by the General Assembly. He responded, “The legislature has seen the importance of this crop – a crop by the way that three of the Founding Fathers grew on their Virginia estates. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made paper from the plant, and the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper. It is time for the commission to be funded so that the agricultural potential of hemp – known for 10,000 years – can be realized in this farm-rich region.”

Sherwood noted also, “Our climate is ideal for solar and wind power. In fact, the solar industry now employs more people nationally than the coal industry. We must tap into that future. It is also the responsible thing to do to reduce our ecological footprint.”

North Carolina State Senate District 45 includes Allegany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga counties. Sherwood is a resident of Caldwell County.

Contact the Campaign

To speak with Art Sherwood, please call (828) 434-0563. To speak with Campaign Manager Michael Barrick, please call (828) 434-8520.

Additional Articles

Sherwood Slams Effort by Watauga Republicans to Suppress ASU Student Voting

Art Sherwood Calls for Positive Campaign, Opponent Agrees

Art Sherwood Calls for Moratorium on Fracking in North Carolina

The Environment Position Paper: Fracking and Related Pipeline Development

Learn more

Website

Facebook

Twitter: @ArtSherwood

 

Is This Fair?

It is time to eliminate the outrageous subsidies and entitlements for the gas industry

By Tom and Becky Berlin 

WESTON, W.Va. – Here is a little something for all you land owners, farmers, small business owners, and tax payers to think about.

If you own a bit of land for a hay meadow, you will be assessed and pay property taxes on your hay meadow.

Volk Farm

A farm in Lewis County, W.Va. Photo by Michael M. Barrick

If you buy a tractor and some equipment so you can harvest your hay, you will be assessed and pay property taxes on your tractor and equipment.

If you build a barn in which to keep your hay and your farm equipment out of the weather, you will be assessed and pay property taxes on your barn.

If you buy a cow to eat your hay and maybe give you a calf to sell, you will be assessed and pay property taxes on your cow.

Other small businesses are in much the same situation. You pay property taxes on your business property, buildings, equipment, and inventory.

If, on the other hand, you are a huge corporation and you build a multimillion dollar piece of profitable infrastructure, like Momentum and Stonewall Gas Gathering LLC and their newly constructed pipeline, you will not be assessed and will not pay a penny of local property taxes on your pipeline. Nothing.

IM000891.JPG

The Stonewall Gas Gathering line under construction in North Central West Virginia in 2015. The company building it was cited by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for numerous violations during construction. Photo by Michael M. Barrick

Even worse, the land under which that multimillion dollar pipeline lies has been forever rendered unproductive. Nobody will ever be able to build a house on that land, build a barn, build a farm pond, drill a water well, grow an orchard, grow timber, cut an access road to the other side of your farm, or make any improvements that might interfere with the pipeline company. For every mile of pipeline right of way that Stonewall Gas Gathering has, they have permanently destroyed the utility and value of about 10 acres of land, which will ultimately show up as decreased property value and decreased tax revenue for the county. If you do not think the property value has declined on that land, survey off an acre of that right of way, put it up for sale and see what the market value is now.

Does that seem fair to you? Speak with your elected representatives and candidates and demand that this outrageous subsidy and entitlement be eliminated.

Tom and Becky Berlin are farmers in Weston, W.Va.

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Art Sherwood Slams Effort by Watauga Republicans to Suppress ASU Student Voting

State Senate candidate says Board of Election vote just the latest attack by GOP on voting rights in North Carolina

Art Sherwood primary

Art Sherwood

BOONE, N.C.Art Sherwood, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina State Senate District 45, today slammed efforts by Republicans in Watauga County to suppress voting by Appalachian State University (ASU) students and faculty.

According to the online edition of the Watauga Democrat, “The Watauga County Board of Elections was unable to come to a unanimous decision July 12 in its vote to set an early voting plan for the November general election.” As a result of the vote – which must be unanimous to pass – the decision must now be made by the North Carolina Board of Elections.

The report continued, “Board Chairman Bill Aceto a Republican, submitted a plan that would include Legends as a one-stop early voting site on the Appalachian State University campus to replace the site at the Plemmons Student Union.” According to the report, “Board Secretary Nancy Owen, a Republican, voted in favor of the plan, but Democratic elections board member Stella Anderson voted against.”

The newspaper also reported that Jalyn Howard, the incoming ASU student body president, said “We only recommend the student union. I don’t see anywhere else on campus that will be suitable. I don’t think there is any other solution to this problem – the administration and the students have said: ‘The student union is it.’”

Sherwood said, “I concur with Jalyn. What the Republicans on the Watauga County Board of Elections are trying to do is suppress the votes of ASU students and faculty. This is just part of the ongoing assault upon our most basic civil liberty by Governor Patrick McCrory and the Republicans controlling the North Carolina General Assembly. They have conducted a relentless assault upon voters’ rights over the last several years.”

Sherwood continued, “One of the main reasons I filed for office was so that I could help eliminate voter suppression and gerrymandering.” He continued, “I support open and convenient access to polling places for all voters. I strongly oppose and will work to eliminate burdensome requirements designed to suppress voter turnout. I will work tirelessly to stop gerrymandering by supporting the establishment of an independent commission to draw congressional and General Assembly districts. I also support term limits, campaign finance reform and easing ballot access for third parties.”

Sherwood remarked, “Now that this matter is in the hands of the State Board of Elections, I hope they honor their mandate to protect voters’ rights and the integrity of the electoral process. ASU students and faculty have spoken. The student union worked in the primary. The only reason the Republicans have for wanting to change the location is fear – fear of the younger generation that seeks to do away with the regressive policies implemented by the GOP in Raleigh.”

North Carolina State Senate District 45 includes Allegany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga counties. Sherwood is a resident of Caldwell County.

Contact the Campaign

To speak with Art Sherwood, please call (828) 434-0563. To speak with Campaign Manager Michael Barrick, please call (828) 434-8520.

Additional Articles

Art Sherwood Calls for Positive Campaign, Opponent Agrees

Art Sherwood Calls for Moratorium on Fracking in North Carolina

The Environment Position Paper: Fracking and Related Pipeline Development

Learn more

Website

Facebook

Twitter: @ArtSherwood

Note: Campaign Manager Michael Barrick is publisher of the Appalachian Chronicle.

NC State Senate Candidate Art Sherwood Calls for Moratorium on Fracking in North Carolina

Citing threats to public health and the environment, he calls for employing the Precautionary Principle

LENOIR, N.C.  – Art Sherwood, the Democratic candidate for North Carolina Senate District 45, today announced that he supports a moratorium on fracking in North Carolina. He also released a policy paper about fracking and related pipeline development on his campaign website.

Art Sherwood

Art Sherwood

He explained, “In 2014, North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory, a Republican, signed legislation passed by the GOP-controlled General Assembly that eliminated a moratorium on fracking in North Carolina. What first caught my eye about this legislation was its lack of transparency. It contains provisions that make it illegal to disclose to the public information about the chemicals used in the fracking process. This is outrageous. These are not North Carolina values. As a scientist, the evidence is clear that a moratorium is the safe route; as a Christian, I am required to show concern for the most vulnerable among us.”

He continued, “While fracking is currently not occurring in North Carolina, I support a moratorium on fracking now because geologists have identified at least five potential fields for fracking in the state. A moratorium is consistent with the Precautionary Principle and the position held by numerous governors, public health experts, scientists, environmentalists, journalists, and – most importantly – the people most impacted by fracking and related pipeline construction.”

The Science & Environmental Health Network says about the Precautionary Principle: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.”

IMAG0894

A convoy of fracking industry trucks rumble through Weston, W.Va. at lunchtime. Photo by Michael M. Barrick

In the position paper, Sherwood pointed to the numerous adverse impacts of fracking, including endangering public health, air pollution, water pollution, misuse of eminent domain, industry instability and more. “This is a complex issue, so it can’t be reduced to sound bites. That is why our campaign has taken the time to publish a detailed policy paper. It is also consistent with my pledge to run as transparent a campaign as possible.”

Sherwood concluded, “A physician learns early in her training to ‘First, do no harm.’ Certainly, that is the same principle that should guide elected officials. In the case of fracking, it is clear that we must ensure that we are not doing harm to our people and environment. Failure to do so is an abdication of political leadership. It is clear that we can’t afford to make the mistake of other states and compromise public health and the environment for what is, at best, a boom-and-bust economy. Should the industry, as some point in the future, demonstrate that fracking does not pose a threat to public health and the environment, the moratorium could be lifted. For now, though, it is clear it has not done so.”

Senate District 45 includes five Appalachian counties – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell and Watauga. Sherwood is a resident of Caldwell County. The General Election will be held on November 8.

Art color logoLearn more:

Fracking and Related Pipeline Development Policy Paper

Website

Facebook

Twitter: @ArtSherwood

© The Appalachian Chronicle, 2016

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On Twitter: @appchronicle

Note: Appalachian Chronicle publisher Michael Barrick is serving as campaign manager for Art Sherwood.