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@NCCapitol

House approves 'fracking,' offshore drilling changes

Posted July 22, 2013

— The state House has approved a bill that would both direct the governor to pursue an offshore drilling compact with other states and make changes to the state's gas drilling laws. 

Senators are scheduled to give final legislative approval to the bill Tuesday.

Environmental watchdogs say the measure steps back from provisions that would have hastened on-shore natural gas drilling. However, coastal lawmakers worry that provisions that promote offshore drilling risk billions of tourism dollars for uncertain returns on oil and gas production.

"I hardly see how that revenue sharing can really offset that type of risk to our economy," Rep. Paul Tine, D-Dare, said.

Tine pointed out that current federal law provides no way for North Carolina to share in the revenue from drilling.

"It will literally take an act of Congress," he said.

But backers of the bill say the coast can be protected

As for revenue sharing, Rep. Mike Hager, R-Rutherford, "That's down the road. We have to take these steps to get down the road."

The measure, which was a conference report that bridged differences between the House and Senate, passed 70-40. The bill must also pass the Senate before moving on to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature or veto.

Also Monday, the House rejected changes to a separate "regulatory reform" bill that deals with dozens of different provisions. One of those provisions covers what drilling companies will have to tell the state about chemicals they use in the process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The drilling method calls for forcing a mix of chemicals, water and sand into wells to crack apart shale rock and release trapped natural gas.

"We're still working on that," Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, said of the fracking provision. There are also differences between the House and Senate as to other provisions the two chambers want to include in the bill, he said.

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  • kdogwnc Jul 23, 2013

    Thanks rebelyell55....everyone needs to call and email their radical republican senator or representative and demand that they protect the rights of private property owners in this fracking mess.
    Besides, we are not Pennsylvania...there's just not a lot of gas to be extracted from North Carolina...but there's lots of money to be made by Chesapeake Energy and other drilling companies - at the expense of our drinking water and our property rights.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 23, 2013

    It will be interesting to see where "conservatives" line up in this battle between big business and property owners.

    kdogwnc
    July 23, 2013 9:48 a.m.
    .......If you have watch any of the rule committee on fracking, they are already giving away property rights to the gas companies. One of the reason (out of many) that people who didn't care one way or the other are now up in arms about the gas drilling. Right out of the play book of the big coal and timber companies of 1930 and 1940

  • hardsckull22 Jul 23, 2013

    "ALL HAIL ALL POWERFUL HALIBURTON"

  • Krimson Jul 23, 2013

    "no way for North Carolina to share in the revenue from drilling."

  • kdogwnc Jul 23, 2013

    I read an interesting article today that talks about property owners of western PA who have signed fracking leases on their property being cheated out of royalties by the drilling companies. While the companies are required by PA law to pay a minimum 12.5% in royalties to property owners, the contracts allow the companies to recoup the costs of transporting and processing the gas. In many cases, these costs that the companies charge to the land owners eat up all the royalties, meaning the property owners get nothing.

    It will be interesting to see where "conservatives" line up in this battle between big business and property owners.

  • java323 Jul 23, 2013

    ILoveDowntownRaleigh-
    I think you misunderstood...it means that other states can drill off our shore, but we wont see any of the revenue from it. "It will take and act of Congress" for us to get revenue from off-shore drilling. Not prohibit off-shore drilling, unfortunately.

  • rcherry132004 Jul 23, 2013

    Go to the beach now before the sludge and tar wash up, ruin the beaches, and take their toll on the wild life. If you live in the fracking areas, start bottling your water now; that will be gone as soon as they start. But think about the money it will add to the state right?

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jul 22, 2013

    "Tine pointed out that current federal law provides no way for North Carolina to share in the revenue from drilling.

    "It will literally take an act of Congress," he said."

    :-) Excellent, we should be safe. As the Republican House Leader John Boehner just said today: "we will be judged about how many laws we repeal".