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North Carolina lawmakers accidentally legalized fracking in their state late on Monday night, after Democratic State Rep. Becky Carney erroneously cast the deciding vote to override Governor Bev Perdue’s veto.

Carney, who has voted against fracking in the past and spent Monday lobbying other Democrats to uphold Perdue’s veto, said that her vote was “very accidental.”

“It is late. Here we are rushing to make these kind of decisions this time of night,” she told WRAL.com‘s Laura Leslie. “And then I push the green button.”

The veto was overridden by a 72-47 vote; without Carney’s vote it would have been sustained.

Carney tried to change her vote, but House Speaker Thom Tillis would not recognize her as Representatives cannot change their vote if it would affect the bill’s passage. Immediately after the vote was cast, House Minority Leader Paul Stam used a procedural move to ensure that the veto override could not be reconsidered.

Perdue had vetoed the fracking bill three times in the past four days, according to The Raleigh News & Observer. Although she usually supports fracking, she said in a statement that “Our drinking water and the health and safety of North Carolina’s families are too important” to pass this bill. “We can’t put them in jeopardy by rushing to allow fracking without proper safeguards.”

Although fracking could provide an economic boom, there are still deep questions about the safety and environmental impact of the technique.

For her part, Carney is taking responsibility for her error.

“I feel rotten, and I feel tired,” she told WRAL. “And I feel that mistakes are made constantly when people are tired. And I feel rotten about it, but I take responsibility for my vote.”

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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