banner
@NCCapitol

Perdue mixed on fracking bill

Posted June 27, 2012
Updated June 28, 2012

Landowners weigh pros, cons of fracking

— It's unclear how Gov. Bev Perdue will respond to a bill awaiting her signature that would legalize in North Carolina a controversial method of natural gas drilling called "fracking."

"I support fracking for natural gas, because it is part of a comprehensive mix of energy sources that creates jobs, reduces costs for businesses and families, and keeps our economy growing," she said in a statement Wednesday. "Before we 'frack,' however, we need strong safeguards in place which are specifically adapted to conditions in North Carolina."

Last week, the Senate passed a bill to legalize and develop regulations for hydraulic fracturing of gas drilling, which involves injecting a drilled well with chemicals, water and sand at high speeds to crack shale rock and release natural gas.

The state's supply of natural gas is concentrated around Lee, Moore and Chatham counties, but estimates vary about how much might be there and how hard it might be to extract.

Perdue said in her statement that she is concerned that the bill doesn't do enough to protect the state's drinking water or the people of the state.

"Our drinking water and the health and safety of North Carolina’s families are too important," she said. "We can't put them in jeopardy by rushing to allow fracking without adequate protections."

Meanwhile Wednesday, local leaders and citizens opposed to fracking rallied outside the governor's mansion.

"We saw this as a real threat," said Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss, whose town was the first in the state to pass an ordinance against fracking. "We sit in the critical area of the Falls Lake water shed, which means, every day, we are responsible for protecting Raleigh's drinking water."

Fracking protest 'Fracking' opponents rally as Perdue weighs options

Opponents worry hydraulic fracturing would damage the water, pollute water to the point it's flammable and allow oil and gas companies to frack under private property.

Supporters say fracking would create jobs and allow the state to utilize domestic energy.

"It's a very good bill with great safeguards," Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, said.

Rucho has said that he hopes efforts to make the bill bipartisan would help secure Perdue's support.

Perdue released an executive order in May that set her own timetable for examining the fracking process. The order directs a work group to report back to her every six months with findings or recommendations.

Fracking opponents have said if Perdue signs off on the bill, it would contradict her executive order for more study of the issue.

Although legalized, the bill would not allow fracking to go forward until permits are issued in October 2014 at the earliest.

The bill also would create a 15-member rule-making commission to develop rules and regulations.

Proponents previously conceded replacing some oil and gas developers on the board with local governmental officials.

The bill also allows for approximately $250,000 worth of funding for the board and the North Carolina Department of Environment and National Resources.

28 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • The Contractor Jun 29, 2012

    fracking should be a last resort. if the world runs our of oil and gas then maybe we could look at destroying our environment, but businesses have a very bad record of watching out for our interests.

  • gmlagan Jun 29, 2012

    Tens of thousands of calls and e-mail from citizens saying we don't want poison in our well water. Protestors outside her house. The average citizen of NC doesn't want this dirty buisness here. The good jobs go to texans who the companies ship in. The profits go to the energy and privatized water utilities. The poisons go in our ground water and we get sick for generations. Is a 50-100k mineral lease worth a life time of cancer for you, your family, and your neighbors? Kepp up the pressure: (800) 662-7952 or (919) 733-2391

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 28, 2012

    You either want to pollute drinking water with cancer causing chemicals or you do not. Who cares how many temporary jobs this will create?...unless human health is just a non-issue for you.

    Hmmm...I'm guessing smokers (24% of population) probably don't care if they or their children ingest a cancer agent, but everyone else probably does. Let's stop this!

  • whatelseisnew Jun 28, 2012

    I think this fracking is a bad idea. From what I understand a very toxic mix is pumped into the ground. I certainly want us to pursue every bit of domestic energy resource that we can obtain, but I don't think this is a good way to go about it.

    "Go ahead with this. Who cares about the environment. It is all about a quick buck. Future generations don't need clean water. They can buy it from a bottle with all those millions that will come in from the land leases. Most human beings are greedy animals that seem to think they are the only animal species that matters. This little ball we live on can only take so much."

    This country is one of the few on the planet that actually has done and continues to do things to protect the environment. Is is not that PEOPLE do not care. Aside from that, this planet is going to change regardless of what we do or do not do. At some point we might very well go the way of the dinosaurs. When that happens, I suspect it will not be something we control.

  • disgusted2010 Jun 28, 2012

    One more example of our failed Governor. She came out in favor of the bill without consulting with her staff, experts or her own appointees. Then members of the Environmental Management Commission, some her appointees, went to her and asked her to veto the bill. Once again she proves just how poor a leader she is.

  • nomorethanthat Jun 28, 2012

    I hope she vetoes it when it comes to her. Regulation and safeguards have to be in place before it can be allowed. Drillers must have to put up a bond sufficient to rectify any environmental damage they cause and to clean up their site on an ongoing basis as well after it is shutdown. There must be full disclosure of what is pumped into the ground with DENR being notified prior to any injection and having the ability to reject what the driller wants to use. There must be tight restrictions in place on the allowed sound level during drilling and operation and how much portable water can be used with the implementation of controls on the disposal of contaminated water.

    TO THOSE SAYING IT WILL PROVIDE JOBS, FORGET IT. THE TEAMS DOING THE DRILLING AND OPERATION WILL COME FROM OUT OF STATE AND NOT BE PULLED FROM THE LOCAL POOL AND THOSE DOING THE DRILLING WILL GENERALLY LEAVE AFTER THE DRILLING IS COMPLETE.

  • Sweetgrl3 Jun 28, 2012

    Perdue is just mixed up all around. She is a joke and has no clue what she is doing.

  • Z Man Jun 28, 2012

    This is why "The Bev" is a failure. She rarely puts enough thoughts together to come to a conclusion and make a decision. A governor's job is primarily to make decisions. She is not doing her job.

  • WASP Jun 28, 2012

    Go ahead with this. Who cares about the environment. It is all about a quick buck. Future generations don't need clean water. They can buy it from a bottle with all those millions that will come in from the land leases. Most human beings are greedy animals that seem to think they are the only animal species that matters. This little ball we live on can only take so much.

  • JimW Jun 28, 2012

    Why does something like gay marriage go to a public vote, and fracking gets decided by a bunch of politicians! I'm completely outraged at this whole thing. It makes me SICK.

More...