Oops — North Carolina Accidentally Legalizes Fracking

  • Scott Detrow

Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina House Chamber


North Carolina lawmakers have¬†overridden Governor Bev Purdue’s veto of legislation legalizing and regulating hydraulic fracturing.
The override passed by a single vote. The only problem: the vote was cast accidentally.
Democrat Becky Carney intended to vote no, but mistakenly pushed the button for a “yea” vote. ¬†As WRAL reports, her action gave the measure 72 votes – exactly the number needed for an override.

Carney characterized her vote as “very accidental.”
“It is late. Here we are rushing to make these kind of decisions this time of night,” she said.
Carney pointed out that she has voted against fracking in the past, and said she spent the day lobbying other Democrats to uphold the veto of Senate Bill 820.
“And then I push the green button,” she said.
Just after the vote, Carney’s voice could be heard on her microphone, saying “Oh my gosh. I pushed green.”

North Carolina procedure bars legislators from changing their votes, if the switch would affect whether or not a bill passes. So thanks to an accidental push of a button, fracking is now legal in the Tar Heel State.
More on this from the Atlantic, and Raleigh Observer.