Gov. Perdue undecided on fracking bill

Posted June 15, 2012

— A spokesman for Gov. Bev Perdue said Friday that the governor hasn't yet taken a position on a bill that legalizes fracking approved Thursday in the state House.

The Senate is expected to give final approval on Tuesday, and it could be on Perdue's desk by late next week.

If the governor signs the bill, it would make way for the process of setting up regulations for fracking – a controversial drilling process that extracts natural gas trapped in shale rock underground.

Actual drilling would likely begin by October 2014.

Bill supporters say legalizing fracking will help the state harvest domestic energy and create new jobs.

Environmentalists worry the drilling has not been thoroughly studied and could lead to groundwater contamination, earthquakes and flammable drinking water.

They are hoping Perdue will veto the bill.

Will Morgan, director of government relations for the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club, says the proposal moves too quickly and that there is no reason to rush into a practice that could damage the state’s water supply.

"The bill sponsors have said repeatedly that they want to create the best regulatory program in the country," Morgan said. "Unfortunately, they're not giving the state agencies enough time or resources to ensure that they can write an adequate regulatory system."

The proposal in the General Assembly requires the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to complete several major studies on fracking in less than seven months, but provides no funding.

The department's budget has been cut by 40 percent over the past two years, and officials there say they might not make the deadline.

Fracking Gov. Perdue undecided on fracking bill

Supporters of the measure say they might add additional funding to the budget to pay for more personnel. They're also talking with the oil and gas industry about funding some of those positions.

Last year, Perdue vetoed a bill that would have done many of the same things.

Republican legislative leaders haven't been able to muster the votes needed to override that veto.

The latest proposal contains more environmental and consumer protections, but it's unclear whether it will fare any better.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • disgusted2010 Jun 18, 2012

    Waiting on Norris Tolson to get the word from Jim Hunt. Perdue has never had an original thought in her life. In reality we are now enduring Jim Hunt's fifth term.

  • Rebelyell55 Jun 18, 2012

    Hope she veto this bill, but I'm afraid she may of already sold out NC.

  • imtiredru Jun 18, 2012

    VETO!!!!!!!!! Look at some of the articles from west virginia.


  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 15, 2012

    Does it really matter what she thinks? She's a lame duck Gov. Her opinions mean nothing as she can't do anything of importance that will last.

  • PeaceRH Jun 15, 2012


  • doubletrouble Jun 15, 2012

    Hey...we need fuel. Everyone whines about high gas prices, but don't realize that's it a natural resource and has to be gotten some kinda way. We have been drilling from the same wells since the 40's and they are now just drying up, depending on unstable Arab countries to supply our demand. Instead of complaining...how about come up with options that are able to maintain and make enough cash for companies to want to make. They ain't gonna make it for free, that's for sure.

  • geosol Jun 15, 2012

    She will definitely veto this awful industry wish list bill that puts the gas industry above the good people of North Carolina. It will be a brilliant political move that will put our little REPUBLICAN legislature on the defensive and rightly so. It would help Walter Dalton in the general election and mark the stark difference between the REPUBLICAN party recklessly supporting their buddies in the energy industry over the Democrats who don't want to give a blank check to them and put our kids environment unnecessarily at risk. VETO THIS INDUSTRY SPONSORED BILL, GOVERNOR!!!!!

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 15, 2012

    pbj - "Sinnce she an her croine buddy's these repbulicans have been in office they have been doing nothing but fracking over the citizens of north carolina with the leting of all the unjustifiable contracts that have done nothin but serve to complete deregulate the entire state government an help to give these politican a chance to sale it all off to the highest bidding business enity an to totaly mess over the citizens an taxpayers of this state withot fraud against the taxpaying public."

    Hate to stop your rant, but Perdue is a Democrat.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 15, 2012

    Well, we can be almost certain whatever decision she makes will be wrong.

  • mep Jun 15, 2012

    All she has is an opinion.... just like the rest of us.