By John Murawski and Craig Jarvis — RALEIGH — Senate Republicans are pushing to make North Carolina more welcoming to energy companies with a bill that requires environmental regulators to promote business opportunities for energy companies they oversee.
The legislation, introduced Monday, will get its first airing Wednesday before the Senate Finance Committee. Its sponsors say it will attract thousands of new jobs and generate billions of dollars for the state.
The legislation would eliminate some fracking safeguards that were adopted into law last year. The safeguards were key to getting enough Democrats on board to override then-Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of a bill that allowed fracking to advance in the state. One of the key provisions was that fracking would not become legal until the N.C. Mining & Energy Commission wrote safety rules and the legislature took a separate vote on those rules.