Bill opening North Carolina to gas drilling filed

Posted February 11, 2013

— The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission would be able to start issuing permits for natural gas drilling in March 2015 under a {{a href="external_link-12093631"}}bill filed Monday by Sens. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and Andrew Brock, R-Davie.

Currently, the commission is allowed to put rules in place to govern exploration for shale gas but does not have the authority to issue permits.

“We know North Carolina’s abundance of clean and inexpensive natural gas brings the promise for thousands of new jobs,” Newton said in a statement. “Companies will now be able to apply the latest technologies and safety standards to see just how far our resources extend, putting North Carolina on track for a vibrant energy jobs sector.”

The bill also give Gov. Pat McCrory authority to negotiate an interstate compact that would clear the way for offshore drilling.

According to a news release, the bill would also:

  • Provide additional resources to the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources for operation of the Mining and Energy Commission.
  • Replace the state’s Energy Policy Council with an Energy Jobs Council – a 13-member body that includes the secretaries of DENR and Commerce. The council would develop a comprehensive energy plan with a focus on creating new jobs.
  • Urge the governor to join the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Governors Coalition while also working with the federal government to take steps to amend the federal government’s five-year OCS leasing plan to include North Carolina and allow revenue-sharing to occur for East Coast states.

This is similar to a 2011 measure that Rucho and fellow senators pushed.


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Newport River Feb 14, 2013

    Meanwhile they are attempting to suppress and legislate against the wind mill projects that Duke is trying to develop on the east coast. The republican party here even used the youth club to promote fracking http://ncfypr.com/blog/2012/06/05/ncfypr-policy-statement-lift-the-ban-on-fracking/
    I think its environmental crime to destroy the fresh water aquifers using hydro-fracking for shale gas.

    I've already written everyone up the political chain of command about this issue and its obvious the public opinion does not matter to the politicians in office both at the county, state, and federal level.

    Politics do not work in this country anymore for the unincorporated citizen. Even small businesses are being forced out of the game this day and age. If your not a Super PAC donor, or have a net worth of 50 million or more, your opinion means jack in this country..no matter who you voted for.

    Mark A. Bartholomew

  • downtowner Feb 12, 2013

    This is why I live downtown and drink only imported water. Not everyone has that option. McCrory would never drill near his own residence but you can't be too safe and our water still comes from aquifers that are far away and out of sight. The rural areas that largely voted for this republican legislature will suffer the most. You reap what you sow.

  • goldenosprey Feb 12, 2013

    This can be a real plus for Sanford's economy. Long after the shale is fracked out and the dozen or two jobs held by out-of-staters leave, Lee Co. can have a "flaming waters" themed tourist attraction- A real slice of Americana!

    Just don't drink the water or eat the crops grown nearby, amigo.

    Mmmmmmmm. Benzene!

  • for the people Feb 12, 2013

    the new legislature is taking on some good things so far, but drilling for gas in nc is a stupid idea. there isn't that much of it, it's really dangerous to the environment, there won't be that many jobs, and the reaction from the citizens of this great state will be overwhelmingly negative.

  • jgilchr Feb 12, 2013

    How about a vibrant energy sector in development of renewables as opposed to sunset methods? Can these people think beyond the mid 20th century?

  • kdawg Feb 12, 2013

    Does anyone really believe this is about "jobs"? Get real North Carolina. The party of corporations is about to sell you out again.

  • jgilchr Feb 12, 2013

    Just remember who was responsible for allowing this dangerous practice in NC when something goes wrong, and when you are lighting your water on fire as a cool party trick.

  • peterpepper Feb 12, 2013

    There's that mentality again.
    Hope they put a HUGE gas drilling industrial site right at your back door then you can let us know how that works for you, you'll need that prozac badly then.

  • LuvLivingInCary Feb 12, 2013

    drill baby drill.