Drilling bill headed to conference committee

Posted June 12, 2013

— The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday against changes the House approved to legislation that would open up North Carolina to natural gas drilling.

The Senate's original "fast-track" version would have allowed a drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to begin on March 1, 2015, without legislative approval.

The House version allows the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to issue permits on that date but says lawmakers must approve the state's regulatory framework before those permits would be considered valid.

The House also prohibited fracking waste fluid to be pumped into the ground in North Carolina and would allow DENR to regulate and fine land agents who use misleading or unethical practices to convince property owners to sign leases for mineral rights.

"The House did a remarkable number" on the bill, said sponsor Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, calling on senators not to concur with the House changes.

The Senate voted 41-8 against concurrence, sending the legislation to a conference committee.


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  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jun 13, 2013

    Our extremist Republican state senators have given everyone in North Carolina a reason to show up and vote in 507 days.

    And they are "drilling" their own political graves.

  • Bendal1 Jun 13, 2013

    Sounds like the Senate is composed of nothing but conservatives and conservative wanna-bees, based on that vote. What's wrong with putting some limits on where frackers can put the waste water, or give DENR some ammo to punish violators with? Oh, that's right; those kind of rules aren't "business friendly", and conservatives don't want to look like they are being mean to those good 'ol job creators, right? Their masters....uhhh, I mean the businesses might not want to come here otherwise.

  • linkz145 Jun 13, 2013

    Please stop destroying the earth, the only real wealth is clean air, land, and water.

  • sisu Jun 13, 2013

    At least the House had some common sense and wasn't all focused on unbridled greed.

  • jgilchr Jun 13, 2013

    Good hopefully it gets tied up forever and fracking fails to materialize in NC.