June 22, 2016

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.

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.”

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


Contact the Campaign

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

Learn more:

Fracking and Related Pipeline Development Policy Paper



Twitter: @ArtSherwood