Drilling rules panel will hear from public Wednesday

Posted December 19, 2012

— The state commission tasked with developing regulations that would allow for expanded natural gas drilling in North Carolina will hear from the public Wednesday in a second day of meetings in downtown Raleigh.

The Mining and Energy commission has until 2014 to draft rules for drilling, including the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The process involves horizontal drilling through underground shale deposits and injecting a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals into the well to break apart the rock and release trapped natural gas.

After discussing water use and waste management Tuesday, commission members on Wednesday will discuss forced pooling, a method by which energy companies can potentially force land owners into lease agreements that allow the companies to drill on their land.

Wednesday’s meeting will also include a public comment period for 10 speakers, each of whom will get three minutes to describe their thoughts about fracking. Despite lacking a forum inside the commission’s meeting Tuesday, those against the controversial drilling process made their opinions known.

Four protesters, including two who padlocked themselves to the doors of the Archdale Building, were arrested Tuesday morning as the commission met inside.

Tamara Matheson and Vincent Michael Gonzalez were charged with disorderly conduct in a public building.

"We are not going to let profiteers exploit and endanger our land and our loved ones," said Maria Roan, a member of the environmental group Earth First! "This hydraulic fracturing has never been done safely. There's been contaminated water. There's been exploding pipelines."

Drilling opponents say fracking will contaminate North Carolina's underground water supplies and would compete with other water uses during droughts.


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  • Rebelyell55 Dec 20, 2012

    Well they heard from the public Tuesday and Wednesday, and I'm betting it was a group who is tell em what a fine job they doing, since it's not reported what the "groups" had to say, I guess because it don't matter, they'll do whatever they want anyway.

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 20, 2012

    Can take your land if needed, then there should not be any property taxes on land. IF I think I own it, and I have to pay property taxes only to be ran off of it, something sure is wrong in the thinking process here.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 20, 2012

    "We'll allow them to take your land if the gas company needs it."

    They can now take my land if someone wanted to put a strip mall in place of my home. We lost our property rights thanks to the Supreme Court. We now live in the land and home of the tax serf.

  • WYSINWYG Dec 20, 2012

    There is really only one thing that people should be upset about when it comes to fracking in NC. People on the right and the left should be upset that so much of their hard-earned tax dollars are being wasted on the debate over something that will never happen in NC. $250K a year currently being spent on this commission's work, PLUS the distraction of legislators and numerous state officials in departments of commerce, health, and environment from other more important business that will have a more immediate and more significant effect on the NC economy. Read the numbers: there's 1/50th the amount of gas here that exists in the Marcellus, and natural gas prices are at historic lows. Why would anyone waste their time coming to NC when they can get the stuff in far greater quantities in any of 20 other states that already have stable laws and the pipelines to get the stuff to market?

  • WYSINWYG Dec 20, 2012

    This is a classic case of 'the emperor has no clothes.' There is not enough gas here to make a difference economically or environmentally. Let 'em come and try to get gas out of the ground. They won't be successful AND they won't do enough environmental damage to amount to anything.

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 19, 2012

    PLEASE start fracking today! I feel strongly for this because I researched how it is done.

    December 19, 2012 12:39 p.m___________________________________
    Don't know if your serious or not. So if the method is perfect, that could be, but it's controlled by humans, and lets face it humans make mistakes. Now for the issue that has nothing to do with method. 1. Is yesterday, they flat stated water requirement, and said "too bad on salt water" we'll use drinking water and treatment water that belongs to the citizens, not some Gas company. 2. We'll allow them to drill under your property without your approval. We'll allow them to take your land if the gas company needs it. They take you land to run a pipe line, nothing you can do about it. As shown in other states, they'll tear up the road, we pay more taxes to fix it. They leave a mess, we pay more taxes to clean it up. Major "accident", the gas companies are not liable. See the problem?

  • geosol Dec 19, 2012

    Don't worry good people, this is nothing more than a little right wing BOONDOGGLE that uses OUR TAX DOLLARS to fund something based on ideology, not science or economics. Think about it, we've known about the organic shale in the Triassic for decades now; detailed seismic was performed in the early 1980's by an oil company consortium. There's a reason they haven't developed this area and it has NOTHING to do with rules and regulations. It has everything to do with the fact that the sediments are too fractured and the value of the resource is miniscule. To put it simply so that the right wingers might try to understand - IT AIN'T WORTH IT, and probably never will be. Just wish they'd stop wasting our time and tax dollars on it, though.

  • hi_i_am_wade Dec 19, 2012

    Frack here, frack now! Don't let the factless environmentalists cloud your judgement. Heck, I would like to volunteer my neighborhood for fracking. This is because I *gasp* have researched hydrologic fracturing. I have studied it. It is safe. I'm so confident of its safety that I would love if you started fracking near me.


    START FRACKING TODAY! Please please please.

    On a related note, if an environmentalist says something is true, it ain't true. The modern environmental movement and facts are mutually exclusive. If you want to be their worst nightmare, take the time to do your own research. Oh, they hate that. It exposes them. As the link above shows how much they hate being exposed.

    PLEASE start fracking today! I feel strongly for this because I researched how it is done.

  • momeeee Dec 19, 2012

    No Fracking!

  • Grand Union Dec 19, 2012

    "This is an issue on which conservative rural North Carolinians with a "get off my land!" mentality should be able to unite with hippie liberals...

    Lets hope so....