Local News

Chatham County fired up over fracking

Posted April 2, 2012

— Chatham County is reviewing a high-pressure drilling technique called "fracking" that could unleash jobs and profits but carries pollution risks.

At a public information session on oil and gas exploration Monday night, a largely anti-fracking crowd spoke out about the controversial drilling method.

"I moved to North Carolina because it is so fresh and clean and because it is one of the new unspoiled areas," said Chatham County resident Karen Howard. "I'd like us to keep that."

Raleigh resident Marvin Woll agreed, saying job creation doesn't outweigh environmental risks.

"I think there are some people that think this is going to provide jobs, but from everything I've read, it might provide a few hundred jobs (only)," Woll said. "Do we want to risk the future of the planet for my son (and) all these other kids for a couple hundred jobs? No."

The public forums are intended to inform residents who live in areas where some land has already been leased for future natural gas drilling.

Anti-fracking crowd speaks out in Pittsboro Anti-fracking crowd speaks out in Pittsboro

Opponents and supporters of the hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina packed two hearings in Sanford and Chapel Hill earlier this month.

Fracturing involves injecting a drilled well with water, chemicals and sand to crack shale rock and free trapped gas. 

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources set a deadline for Monday to receive public comments on a draft report released last month that outlined the need for regulations before hydraulic fracturing could occur in North Carolina. Once rules were in place, drilling wouldn't pose major risks, the report said.

Opponents of the process say it would damage water resources and contaminate the environment, while supporters say it would provide an economic boon to central North Carolina.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • adinp2 Apr 12, 2012

    I own a property in New York state near the PA border that my dad lives in. They started fracking nearby in PA and now by dad can light his water on fire. No Joke, I have no idea what to do about it. I am a Real Estate Appraiser, if fracking starts around here. I am moving as fast as I can. PS, no jobs created, the gas companies bring in there own. The only new jobs the area obtained out of this is hotel and restaurant.

  • rdcress Apr 11, 2012

    Hollywood has done an outstanding job of emotionalizing the issue with half-truths and speculation. Much like the Inconvenient Truth debacle, Gasland incorporated very little fact into a conjecture based series of anecdotal assumptions. Science has since proven that none of the accusations in GasLand could be attributed to drilling operations. The biogenic signature of the methane found in the water was not even close to that of the gas being extracted, and none of the chemicals were detected in the drinking water.

  • DontAnnoyMe Apr 11, 2012


    Anybody want to be drinking these chemicals?

  • hoslermark Apr 11, 2012

    There is no need to drill for natural gas, at the present time. There is a national surplus of natural gas currently, driving the price down as much as 50%. Therefore, anyone investing in the drilling process is going to lose money. Only the people with vested interest in drilling companies are pushing for drilling and fracking.

  • GravyPig Apr 3, 2012

    "It may not create jobs but it creates cheap natural gas which will lower my heating bill" - Karmageddon

    Ah, I get your stance now. To heck with the environment so long as my gas is cheap.

  • Tug Boat II Apr 3, 2012

    have a lot of questions concerning Fracking. Any time you have to inject chemicals into the ground, it will have some adverse effect on something. The 64 thousand dollar question is “what”. I don't think we know enough about Fracking to make a informed decision. I hope it's put off until all the scientific data is available. I realize this might take years to do but this is something that is vital important to making an intelligent decision. Oh snap, I forgot politicians are involved. Never mind.

  • rocket Apr 3, 2012

    "Watching and listening to documentaries that are only put out to persuade you to their side may require a alternative viewpoint."

    Well said.

  • CarolinaTim Apr 3, 2012

    Fracking uses up millions of gallons of water and we are always having a drought, why would someone think natural gas is more worthy than water? Jordan Lake supplies is a lot of people with their drinking water. What happens when it's contaminated? Again, keep fracking out, I don't care how many jobs it makes.

    To give you a comparison, 1 olympic size swimming pool is 660,000 gallons. So water supply isn't the concern here. I too, thought it was a factor but was listening to the antifracking propaganda.
    If it's really that bad, I'm not for it but a lot of exaggerations out there. We need to weight the facts.
    Not just the antifracking propaganda.
    China syndrome. Global warming...um...climate change it's called now. Watching and listening to documentaries that are only put out to persuade you to their side may require a alternative viewpoint.

  • westernwake1 Apr 3, 2012

    "Why are you protesting in a county where you don't live? Go back to Wake." - Triumph

    Maybe because a good portion of Wake County gets its water from Jordan Lake and fracking in Chatham or Lee counties would destroy this water supply --- in a similar manner that fracking has destroyed wells and lakes used for drinking water by thousands of residents in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

  • westernwake1 Apr 3, 2012

    "It may not create jobs but it creates cheap natural gas which will lower my heating bill" - Karmageddon

    Can you drink cheap natural gas? Because plenty of people in Pennsylvania and Ohio can not drink their water after Fracking destroyed their wells.