Granting NC fracking permits in 2015 has Senate OK

May. 21, 2014 @ 04:43 PM

The state Senate wants North Carolina to begin issuing the first permits to explore underground for natural gas using a process called fracking as soon as next summer.

The chamber gave initial approval Wednesday to legislation that refines further the path for the state to attract energy exploration companies interested in potential gas deposits.

The bill would remove the 2012 moratorium blocking permits until a state regulatory commission created the rules. Those rules are entering their final development stages. The legislation says permits could be issued starting July 2015.

Senators supporting the legislation argued it's time for the state to finally reap the benefits of jobs and revenues from fracking with state-of-the-art regulations. Opponents say more time is needed to ensure drinking water and communities are protected.

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