Homeless men unfamiliar with fracking were bused from Winston-Salem to a state hearing Friday on the controversial technique for extracting natural gas, an effort to bolster a pro-fracking turnout, according to an environmental group and a published report.
“They were clueless,” said Bettie “Betsy” Ashby, a member of the Jackson County Coalition Against Fracking. “At least two of them I met definitely came from a homeless shelter. One of them even apologized to me and said, ‘I didn’t know they were trying to
do this to me.’ One said, ‘I did it for the ...’ and then he rubbed his fingers together like ‘for the money.’”
Several of the men were wearing turquoise shirts or hats that said “Shale Yes” on the front and “Energy Creates Jobs” and “N.C. Energy Coalition.com” on the back.
The hearing about hydraulic fracturing took place at Western Carolina University and attracted about 600 people. Opposition to fracking was overwhelming in comments made during the fourhour hearing, hosted by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission...