Thursday, June 14, 2012

NC House Committee Approves Fracking

Today, the NC House Environmental Committee approved a bill that will lift the current ban on the controversial natural gas drilling method of hydraulic fracturing. State agencies would have a little more than two years to devise regulations, and the make-up of the rule-making commissions is part of the discussion. Opponents suggest that two years is not enough time to study the issue and develop the proper safeguards. Proponents argue that fast-tracking the regulations for fracking and issuing permits sooner rather than later is necessary for economic growth.

Read about it here at the Charlotte Observer and here at CBS news.

Here is a link to reports on fracking by the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
(check out the executive summary and recommendations if you don't have time to read the whole report)

One of the main conclusions of the DENR study is that hydro fracking can be done safely if the right safeguards are in place, and that the current ban on fracking should remain in place until proper standards and enforcement mechanisms have been established.

Here is an excellent series from Scholbohm at NCSU:

What N.C. needs to know about Pennsylvania's Energy Experience 

The Cold-Hard Facts about Fracking in North Carolina Part 1

The Cold-Hard Facts about Fracking in North Carolina Part 2


Spencer K said...

This is very interesting article. I believe that Natural gas is defiantly the way of the future considering that is has the most power production per molecule and the least amount of CO2 released per molecule. Just like anything else, fracking is going to cause pollution but consider the amount of CO2 it cuts down compared to oil and coal. Also if you compare the net pollution from fracking and the combustion of natural gas compared to something like oil from tar sands I would be surprised if it caused more pollution. I read in the news that Canada is trying to mine oil from tar sands which would increase the total CO2 in the World's atmosphere by 1/1000. In my opinion 2 years may be short time span, but if you consider the option of not mining natural gas sooner than later, it could have a larger negative effect on our environment.

J. Embrey said...

The science, standards, and processes are in place and have been for many years.

The most important part of the process is the monitoring of active and inactive sites.

The state of North Carolina should require royalty payments to the state for every cubic foot of natural gas extracted from with in North Carolina borders.

These royalty payments should be used to monitor sites for compliance and safety.

This internalizes the negative externalities and will lead to an outcome that is efficient for all parties and will also allow the state to adequately monitor for compliance and safety without requiring the state to reallocate funding or expend additional tax dollars.

J. ermbrey said...


Rachel Davis said...

I really didn't understand what fracking was all about until I read this blog. I think I will have to read up on it more to fully understand all of the implications and also understand how it relates to what Canada is trying to do in the future.

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