Raleigh, NC - The controversial practice of fracking became legal in North Carolina last week following the General Assembly's override of Governor Perdue's veto of the bill to legalize it, and the deciding voter says she voted to override the bill by mistake.
Representative Becky Carney (D, Mecklenberg County) was the deciding vote to override the veto, and said she pressed the wrong button, and meant to vote against the veto override.
Her mistake legalized fracking, and General Assembly rules state that members can't change their vote if their vote would alter the outcome.
Why is this so? Representative Dale Folwell, (R, Forsyth County) told News 2 to efficiently run the General Assembly, there have to be rules and that everyone knows the rules, saying, "The fact is if you are going to run the government, if you are going to run the House of Representatives, you have to have rules in place and the members get to vote on these rules every year."
The rules Rep. Folwell referenced passed unanimously by Republicans and Democrats in February of 2011, and Folwell told News 2 in adition to these rules, the Speaker of the North Carolina House, Thom Tillis, told members before the vote that no re-votes would be allowed.
None-the-less, many Democrats opposed to fracking were upset the rules weren't suspended to allow for a re-vote.
Representative Pricey Harrison told News 2, "Never have we had such a monumental piece of legislation that will dramatically impact the state get past accidentally. And the votes weren't there to pass the bill and I guess they used whatever maneuver they could to authorize fracking. It's an unfortunate precedent and it's bad government."
Following the vote, Rep. Carney says she tried to get the attention of Speaker Tillis, but was not recognized, and a procedural motion followed to prevent any re-vote from occurring.
The passage of the bill to legalize fracking doesn't mean fracking will definitely take place in North Carolina, it only means exploration for shale oil can take place to see if it's worth drilling for.