Fracking Bill Advances
House lawmakers have approved a bill that would bring North Carolina closer to allowing a controversial natural gas extraction practice known as "fracking." Senate Bill 709 would also approve studying the potential of drilling for natural gas both on land and offshore. The measure would also require officials to set up the regulatory framework needed to produce the resource. Proponents of the bill say it would make the state more independent of foreign oil. But Democratic Minority Leader Joe Hackney says this measure would move too fast.
Joe Hackney: "Many of us believe that that is the wrong direction for North Carolina, which is to plunge ahead and to announce the intention to go ahead and to plan to drill and do hydraulic fracking rather than to study to do it. That's the wrong policy for North Carolina."
The measure would also direct the governor to enter into a compact with South Carolina and Virginia to help expedite exploration efforts. The bill now returns to the Senate.