State News

Hundreds turn out to make comments on fracking

Posted August 20, 2014

— Officials from the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission were hearing from the public Wednesday morning on proposed rules for the oil and gas drilling method known as fracking.

The first of four public meetings on the issue began at 10 a.m. at North Carolina State University, and within minutes, strong comments on both sides of the issue drew applause and boos from the hundreds in attendance.

Critics of fracking raised concerns about waste water disposal, setback rules, the methods to protect clean water in the state and disclosure rules for fracking companies.

"This is more than ludicrous, it's criminal," Vicki Ryder, a member of the anti-fracking group Raging Grannies, said of the rules. "As a grandmother concerned for the health and well being of all the earth's children, I say these setback rules, they make no sense, unless they're thousands of miles more."

Algernon Cash, with the N.C. Energy Forum, said the draft rules being discussed Wednesday already protect the state's water supply.

"North Carolina can expand energy development in a way that protects and preserves our communities," Cash said.

In June, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law clearing the way for permits to be issued for hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – as soon as next spring. The drilling method involves injecting mixtures of water, sand gravel or other chemicals to break apart underground rocks to allow oil and gas to escape.

The law, which lifts a 2012 moratorium that blocked fracking permits, has been criticized by environmental groups.

McCrory said in June that the law will re-energize rural areas and create high-tech jobs.

Critics have said the drilling process could damage nearby water supplies and will force some people to allow drilling on their property without their permission.

City officials from across North Carolina have expressed concern that the measure prohibits them from setting up local zoning requirements for any drilling operations.


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  • proudgrandmomma Aug 21, 2014

    I say wait until the facts are out there with testing until people rush to judgement. It might be good and a way to decrease our dependese on foreign oil, ISiS, and that whole oil fiaso.

  • cruzinlong Aug 21, 2014

    anyone who wants to see a quick check list of how your representatives voted on fracking can go here: sure how real estate folks will benefit, already homes are going up for sale in the prime fracking areas & guess what? They are not selling because prospective buyers are doing their homework .
    For sure those homes will NEVER sell after fracking has started...that's what hurts property owners in the area so badly, especially the ones that will be FORCED to have hydraulic fracturing done on their property due to FORCED pooling or in a split estate situation.

    Rebelyell55 said: "Even the chariman speaks like he's a member of the gas companies or owns one "
    Check out Vikram Rao's LinkedIn info. here :
    The "Halliburton" info. USED to be on his bio at DENR but I see they have conveniently removed that now.

  • Stilllearnin Aug 21, 2014

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    Also add Abound Solar in Colorado for 400 million in federal loans!

  • Stilllearnin Aug 21, 2014

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    I guess the default of Abound Solar in Colorado for 400 million in federal loans and Solyndra in Calif for 500 million in federal loans is efficient!

  • umop apisdn Aug 21, 2014

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    Thank you JOHNRMCCRAY

  • John McCray Aug 21, 2014
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    And methane migrates upward once released from it's porespace. Fracture the confining layers and you free the methane to move out of solution, up into the overlying layers. Surficial water levels may start at 250-300 ft. but aquifers extend much deeper. And the material that requires fracking in the Sanford Sub-Basin decomposes when exposed to water, so the "99.5% water and sand" solutions won't work because within 1-3 days, the fractures will seal, rendering the gas wells relatively useless. Therefore, hydrophobic chemicals will need to be used in the fracking solutions to allow the propants to work.

  • John McCray Aug 21, 2014
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    Any jobs that are created in our area will be filled by people already in the industry, the only significant financial benefit will be to the real estate people and those who collect taxes. Secondly Giddur Dun, since your calling people out on acids and the natural occurence of those acids, you have to know that speciation and concentration have huge impacts on the strength of acids. By the same token, water is one of the most corrosive substances on the planet, and pure H2O can kill a person in the volumes that one might drink well water. And the debunking the 5 myths link is based on incomplete science. To say the fault of methane in someones well is because the well was constructed poorly ignores the source of the methane.

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 21, 2014

    This should of never been left up to a few (our GA) but should of been voted on by the citizens. The group making up the rules should not have people with vested interest on the board. Even the chariman speaks like he's a member of the gas companies or owns one. Yeah no bais there. While contamination is a concern and have been proving already (for those who claim there has not been a confirm case) the major concern should be where they plan on getting the water from and then where they plan to put the contaminated water once it's been used? The water they're planning on using will come from our current drinking water supply for many city and counties. Some posters hit the nail on the head when they menition the hidden cost that the citizens of NC will have to bear once the gas companies are done. The only way to stop this is by voting come Nov. and know where your canadiate stands on this issue.

  • Chad Burnham Aug 21, 2014
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    If, as a society, we chose to do the right things, solar and wind and other alternative energy sources wouldn't be alternative. Government regulations and tax subsidies have allowed for the pillaging of our landscape for buried prehistoric carbon and in turn Big Oil and its friends keep getting richer, it really is a crime. Look up some real academic peer-reviewed articles on fossil fuel pollution versus the likes of solar and wind and you'll see the stark difference. Yes, each energy source has its positives and negatives, but some easily outweigh the others. Big Oil and its allies in Washington keep fossil fuel production high because of course. Fossil fuels are still relatively cheap because we don't, for some idiotic reason, make energy companies pay their external costs, like cleaning up pollution. It's a shame! I'm sorry but the benefit of fracking here in NC does not outweigh the risks.

  • srw4720 Aug 21, 2014

    Fracking has been done in up to 40 states for over 30 yrs
    EPA has NEVER closed a shale gas well due to poisoning water
    Fracking chemicals are 99.50% water and sand
    If you use a propane tank, you have used gas from fracking
    Fracking is done up to 5000 ft down, water levels are 250-300 ft
    Please argue facts