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@NCCapitol

'Fracking' bill headed to House

Posted May 22

— The state Senate voted 35-12 Thursday to send a measure that would lift the state's ban on a natural gas drilling process known as "fracking" next summer as opponents raised water quality concerns.

Although laws passed during prior sessions had paved the way for fracking, this bill would speed up approvals. Under current law, the soonest a permit could be issued would likely have been sometime in 2016. The measure that passed the Senate would require the state to start issuing permits on July 1, 2015, even if some rules governing the process are not fully in place.

"If this is where we ought to go, we ought to let the experts take us there in a cautious way," said Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake. 

Senators did make some changes to the bill before sending the measure on to the House. On of those changes required that drillers post a $1 million bond in case their drilling operation causes damage.

Another change lowers the penalties for state workers who inappropriately reveal trade secrets related to fracking chemicals. Under the bill, drilling companies have to turn over a list of chemicals used in the process to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The original draft of a bill would have made unlawfully disclosing those chemicals a felony.

Environmental groups worried that threat of a felony conviction could inhibit release of information in case of an emergency, such as a spill. 

An amendment offered by Sen. Chad Barefoot, R-Wake, lowered that offense to a misdemeanor, a lower level of crime that has fewer long-term ramifications for a conviction. That change passed 47-0.

21 Comments

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  • cruzinlong May 23, 7:03 p.m.

    familyandamerica,

    Those are not ALL the chemicals used, the most harmful ones are kept under... View More

    — Posted by cruzinlong

    Please reread my post. You read someone else's quote at the top and missed my response which... View More

    — Posted by familyandamerica

    Sorry, my bad and you are spot on in your response !!

  • familyandamerica May 23, 4:13 p.m.

    familyandamerica,

    Those are not ALL the chemicals used, the most harmful ones are kept under... View More

    — Posted by cruzinlong

    Please reread my post. You read someone else's quote at the top and missed my response which actually supports your point.

  • cruzinlong May 23, 4:04 p.m.

    familyandamerica,

    Those are not ALL the chemicals used, the most harmful ones are kept under wraps and considered trade secrets.

    Mixteam44, wouldn't hurt you to educate ( NOT education as you say ) yourself a bit further.

    Read the fractured article here on WRAL
    in the " don't miss it " section that was written by a Fayetteville observer reporter...the " fracking in Pa. one, you can see there under industry problems for starters about water contamination from fracking processes, sheeze.

  • scubagirl2 May 23, 3:58 p.m.

    I wish people would education themselves about fracking before screaming "The sky is falling"!... View More

    — Posted by mxteam44

    Been doing quite a bit of research and I have been surprised, but not in the WAY you would like. Perhaps you should continue to research a bit more, IF you care about NC.

  • familyandamerica May 23, 3:28 p.m.

    The actual chemicals used in Fracking are NOT a secret. You can see a list of most of them here:

    h... View More

    — Posted by tayled

    And if anyone gets sick from fracking then they can do that. That's why we have courts.

    — Posted by GovernmentMule

    Or we can prevent them from getting sick in the first place. That's why we have environmental regulations and people who recognize the longterm preservation of the state over a quick buck. "If you get sick, sue" is small comfort to the person with lymphoma.

  • mxteam44 May 23, 2:58 p.m.

    I wish people would education themselves about fracking before screaming "The sky is falling"! It is virtually impossible to contaminate the groundwater by drilling a deep well. Shallow wells are a little more risky, but even then, the risk is minimal. There's TONS of info out there folks. Do some research! You'll be surprised what you'll learn. I know I was!

  • GovernmentMule May 23, 2:25 p.m.

    The actual chemicals used in Fracking are NOT a secret. You can see a list of most of them here:

    h... View More

    — Posted by tayled

    And if anyone gets sick from fracking then they can do that. That's why we have courts.

  • tayled May 23, 1:49 p.m.

    The actual chemicals used in Fracking are NOT a secret. You can see a list of most of them here:

    http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used

    The actual mixture, etc... used by a drilling operation IS a trade secret, the same way a soft drink formula is a trade secret.

    Read more at http://www.wral.com/fracking-bill-headed-to-the-house/13668250/#CklSTgCWeubP818e.99

    And if you went out to eat and you and most of your fellow diners became sick, you would want to know how and with what mixture of ingredients your food was prepared so you could possilby find out what made you all sick.

  • GovernmentMule May 23, 1:41 p.m.

    The actual chemicals used in Fracking are NOT a secret. You can see a list of most of them here:

    http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used

    The actual mixture, etc... used by a drilling operation IS a trade secret, the same way a soft drink formula is a trade secret.

  • JoeF May 23, 1:27 p.m.

    This story is misleading. The North Carolina Senate on really voted to make it a crime to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It went from a felony to a misdemeanor. Toxins are trade secrets? Come on!!Why shouldn't citizens know if we are being poisoned.
    Raleigh lawmakers do not care about us. We are collateral damage. I say--follow the money.

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