WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A state representative from Wilmington is defending her vote that helped override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of a bill on fracking. The vote is also earning Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) a lot of criticism.
“I think what we’ve done is traded clean water for North Carolina for unsure promises and for other issues,” Cape Fear Sierra Club Chairman Mac Montgomery said.
Despite what some environmentalists think, Hamilton says she voted monday night in the best interest of the environment. Hamilton, who has voted against proposals to explore fracking in the past, decided to vote against the governor’s veto. Depending on how you look at it, that vote made the difference.
“I believe very strongly that had we not compromised and passed this bill that, they would resurrect Senate Bill 709, or what I like to call ‘Drill, baby, drill,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton’s name was on a letter to Perdue last week, asking for her to veto the fracking bill. She says that was a miscommunication, and that she only wanted Perdue to veto one of the bills the letter addressed, not the fracking bill.
“I never saw the letter before it was sent out,” Hamilton said. “There was no malice intended there. Had I seen the letter before it went over to the governor’s office, I would have asked that my name be removed.”
Hamilton’s vote was also rumored to be part of a deal to extended state film incentives. She says that bill is a separate issue.
“There’s not a whole lot of trust between the parties up there right now,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been very plain my entire political career about wanting film incentives to stay in place.”
A Charlotte-area Democrat also voted for the override. Rep. Becky Carney says she hit the wrong voting button.
Meanwhile, Hamilton was recently named a “Rising Star” by the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. Today that organization rescinded the award.