Residents speak out about fracking at Stokes County Commissioners meeting

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DANBURY, N.C. -- Stokes County Commissioners Monday night got an hour they weren’t planning for.

Twenty-six people brought environmental concerns to the public comments section of the regularly scheduled board meeting.

Most of the requests were focused on keeping fracking out of Stokes County.

“The politicians in Raleigh don't know Stokes County nor do they care about Stokes County; we're expendable to them, they're only concerned with wooing a billion-dollar industry so they can line their pockets,” said Peggy Wert, who has lived in Danbury for 11 years.

Wert was one of many who have been concerned about the possibility of seeing oil and gas companies move in, especially after the state ordered a soil sample test in Walnut Cove in June.

“If the citizens of Stokes County don't want fracking we shouldn't be forced to accept it,” said Wert. “Do the right thing and protect the citizens of this county.”

Several speakers asked commissioners to pass a moratorium before any companies express interest in drilling a well.

“I’m really happy to see this group here,” said Stokes County Commissioner Jimmy Walker. “Surprised, but really happy to see them.”

Walker said he’s willing to consider options such as a moratorium but said everyone on the board needs to take a closer look at the issue based on the concerns expressed Monday night.

“Look at all these people, do the right thing for them,” said Robert Phillips, one of close to 100 people who showed up for the meeting, which forced the county to move the meeting to a courtroom in a nearby building.

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