Fracking split in the legislature

Posted March 28, 2012

Rep. Mitch Gillespie is due to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. where he is, I'm told, going to outline his plans for natural gas drilling (see: fracking) in North Carolina. I'm further told this will be a "go slow" bill that will call for more study before allowing the state to move forward. 

Gillespie doesn't exactly see eye-to-eye with the environmental community but among the Republicans who control the House and Senate, he's the closest thing the greens have to a champion.

On the other end of the gas-drilling spectrum are Sen. Bob Rucho and Rep. Mike Hager, both proponents of moving forward with drilling off-shore and hydraulic fracturing on-shore.

In advance of Gillespie's presser, the pair send out a news release saying they'll be pushing legislation to open up the state to drilling during the May short session. From the release:

 Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) and Rep. Mike Hager (R-Rutherford), chairmen of the Senate and House energy committees, on Wednesday committed to work on legislation during the upcoming short session to develop North Carolina shale gas in an environmentally responsible manner.

“With our country in the midst of a historic energy crisis and our unemployment rates at record highs, we can’t afford to delay energy development any longer with more studies and panel discussions,” said Rucho. “We have solutions for job creation, lower fuel prices and energy security right under our feet and the legislature has the responsibility to move forward with its development.”

Rucho and Hager said their committees understand a strong regulatory framework must be in place before exploration can begin, and that will be the focus of their legislation.

Last Friday, Gov. Beverly Perdue met with Rucho and Hager and pledged to support current legislative efforts to develop North Carolina shale gas in an environmentally friendly manner.

“From day one, this General Assembly has been committed to developing energy and making good use of our shale resources. We’re pleased the governor is now working with us to bring thousands of new jobs and clean energy to our state,” said Hager.

Given what I know about Gillespie's plans and the language in this news release, it looks like there's a bit of a rift developing among Republicans on this issue. The release also feels like it was timed to preempt Gillespie's presser. 

Final note: The mention of Perdue in intriguing. She has recently said that she thinks hydraulic fracturing might be a viable option, but she wants to proceed with caution. It's unclear whether she supports the full-court press that Rucho is proposing here. 


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  • matthewwood007 Mar 29, 2012

    A better resource http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/03/07/the_coming_resource_wars.php

  • nawer1967 Mar 29, 2012

    Dr. Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy discusses North Carolina's approach to shale gas and hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." Fine offered these comments during a Feb. 27, 2012, presentation to the John Locke Foundation's Shafesbury Society. Video courtesy of CarolinaJournal.tv. Watch full-length video of JLF events here:
    Daniel Fine discusses North Carolina's approach to shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (two minutes)---> http://youtu.be/4Lbn9diK1PA
    The full one hour video can be seen here-->"North Carolina?s approach to natural gas fracking" ---> http://lockerroom.johnlocke.org/2012/02/27/no...
    "While North Carolina struggles with an ongoing abysmal employment situation, fracking is providing a welcome boon for North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, among others. Being a latecomer in the game could have its own benefits, however; as Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy has explained, North Carolina is well positioned to survey and adopt the be

  • nawer1967 Mar 29, 2012

    Read Energy expert Dr. Daniel Fine Op-Ed “Potential bounty for North Carolina” on Shale Gas in North Carolina
    News & Observer Raleigh, NC March 21 2012
    Dr. Daniel Fine writes “Nearly 40 years ago, when the first oil price shock from the Middle East and OPEC disrupted the American economy, North Carolina and Appalachia briefly became an oil and gas frontier. Following geological investigations, Chevron drilled an exploratory well in the Deep River Basin beneath Lee County, N.C. Oil was discovered at 5,000 feet, but it contained excessive paraffin and Chevron plugged the well.” please read on and click this link to the original article—> http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/03/21/194798...
    Dr. Daniel I. Fine works with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy. He is a longtime research associate at the Mining and Minerals Resources Institute, MIT. Fine is also a policy adviser on nonconventional oil and gas. He is co-editor of Resource War in 3-D: Dependence, Diplomacy and Defense,

  • matthewwood007 Mar 28, 2012


  • matthewwood007 Mar 28, 2012


    It's what they dont tell ya that will kill ya