State News

Lee officials want say as NC drafts drilling rules

Posted November 2, 2012

— Members of a panel directed by the legislature to develop regulations that would allow for expanded North Carolina inland energy exploration are still developing their plan to complete their tasks.

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission held its third meeting for Friday at a state building in downtown Raleigh.

The group elected George Howard as vice chairman after deadlocking last month on a choice between Howard, president of Restoration Systems, which restores wetlands and sells "mitigation credits" to companies doing construction elsewhere, and Raleigh attorney Charlotte Mitchell.

Creedmoor passes fracking ban, Cary could follow NC energy panel continues to organize

Lee County commissioner Jim Womack was elected panel chairman last month. Some environmental groups have expressed concerns about Womack's support for fracking.

The former state mining commission was reconstituted last summer to address potential natural has exploration methods such as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The controversial process involves drilling horizontally through underground deposits of shale and pumping a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals into the well to break apart the rock and release trapped gas.

Brooks Gage, a member of the Lee County Environmental Affairs Board, said she hopes Lee County officials will have a say as the commission draws up drilling rules. The county is seen as the epicenter of gas deposits in North Carolina.

"We're trying to take a more scientific view and see how this can be done and provide much-needed jobs for Lee County and maximize obtaining natural gas," said Gage, who attended the state commission's meeting.

Lawmakers want new regulations in place by October 2014. The legislature would have to act again before permits could be granted.


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  • Banned4Life Nov 2, 2012

    Gotta love it. Our right wing legislature, in an attempt to keep government smaller, increased the size of government in a bid to make certain that fracking goes according to big oil's plan. So not only has the size of government INCREASED while Republicans have been in charge, the "departments" they've created are not even necessary. It's simply a way to insulate themselves from the foregone conclusion of "drill it anywhere you want, baybee!" So, we've added the attempt at voter ID, which will cost all of us taxpayers a LOT of money, reinstated a defunct department and filled it with the cronies of the elected officials to do their bidding, and all of the other typical junk that gets done in the name of "conservatism". Funny how, over the past 10 administrations, the ONLY time Government has been increased has been during Republican leadership. Oh, and that DEBT? Republicans again. 2 unfunded wars, unfunded prescription drug MANDATES that affect us all, tax breaks for the weal

  • Luvthesky Nov 2, 2012

    The "Sanfordites" pushing the Fracking in NC are after personal financial gain only. Many of them are either running for a political position now or are currently serving. This has been in the works for a long time...the deck has been stacked against us. Cronyism stinks in Lee County!!

  • nomorethanthat Nov 2, 2012

    Don't expect jobs involved in fracking. Actual drilling will be done by gypsy crews that go from one site to another. Drillers want experienced people and if any jobs come about it will be for truck drivers that will be making a horrendous number of trips to and from sites.

  • jgilchr Nov 2, 2012

    What could possible go wrong? ;)
    Womack as panel chairman is a joke and a conflict of interest. It didn't take very long for the cronyism to already begin with fracking. When the stuff hits the fan I can't wait to see the kinds of coverups and corruption it will breed. Everyone who voted for this at the NCGA needs to be held accountable when the ecological disaster comes.

  • rlsmith5 Nov 2, 2012

    We don't need fracking in NC. Thom Tillis, Jim Womack and Mike Stone will give off enough of there on natural gas to supply the whole country. Yes it does smell.

  • NotAgain Nov 2, 2012

    Drill baby drill. Clean water is overrated. We humans were born to suffer.

  • IHeartThe1Percent Nov 2, 2012

    Drill Baby Drill!

  • heels21 Nov 2, 2012

    Sounds like typical politics going on here. Good sign that true "change" is nowhere in sight for America.

  • don23 Nov 2, 2012

    As a resident of Lee county and a conservative republican, I'm against fracking in Lee co at this stage. What I would like to see from these meetings are both sides put together a comprehensive list of the PROS and CONS. Double check the facts and then publish this report. This to me makes the most common sense.

  • 426X3 Nov 2, 2012

    Who needs clean water as long as there is quick money to be made.