Fracking

Take Action on Fracking

On May 20, S 786 (this year's fracking bill) was pushed through two committees and sent to the Senate floor.  On May 21, the full Senate gave tentative approval to the measure, and we expect it to be heard in the House next week.

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Fracking

Confirmed: Fracking practices to blame for Ohio earthquakes

From NBC News: Wastewater from the controversial practice of fracking appears to be linked to all the earthquakes in a town in Ohio that had no known past quakes, research now reveals. Before January 2011, Youngstown, Ohio, which is located on the Marcellus Shale, had never experienced an earthquake, at least not since researchers began observations in 1776. However, in December 2010, the Northstar 1 injection well came online to pump wastewater from fracking projects in Pennsylvania into storage deep underground. In the year that followed, seismometers in and around Youngstown recorded 109 earthquakes, the strongest registering a magnitude-3.9 earthquake on Dec. 31, 2011. The well was shut down after the quake.
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Officials OK rule to force fracking on NC landowners

By John Murawski — RALEIGH — North Carolina landowners would be forced to sell the natural gas under their homes and farms – whether they want to or not – under a fracking recommendation approved Wednesday that’s expected to be enacted by the state legislature this fall. The proposal by a state study group endorses a rarely used 1945 law that’s never been tried here on the kind of scale that would be required for shale gas exploration, or fracking. Thousands of property owners could potentially be affected in the state’s gas-rich midsection in Lee, Moore and Chatham counties. The recommendation, dealing with one of the most emotional fracking issues, bypasses the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, which holds regular public hearings on protecting the public and safeguarding the environment, and goes to the legislature. “We are talking about a for-profit industry taking away personal freedoms with the blessing of the government,” Therese Vick, a community activist with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, told the Compulsory Pooling Study Group. “Personal freedoms are seldom on the radar when the gas companies come to town.” The panel does include four members of the Mining and Energy Commission, some of whom were deeply conflicted.
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New regulatory reform bill covers 'fracking,' smoking rules, more

By Mark Binker RALEIGH, N.C. — The Senate Rules Committee is looking over a new version of House Bill 74, the Regulatory Reform Act of 2013, which knits together several different regulatory reform bills lawmakers have seen this session. Committee members will have a chance to think over the bill Wednesday night, and they will debate and take a vote on the bill Thursday.
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Editorial: Meddling - North Carolina lawmakers try to hamstring fracking rules

This is an excerpt from an editorial in the Fayetteville Observer that ran on July 1: Drilling companies are reluctant to reveal the chemical content of those fluids, although it's known that some of them are toxic and an accident could carry them into a community's drinking water. The governor and legislative leaders have pledged to make this state's fracking regulations the most transparent and protective in the country. They did, at least, until the drilling companies began to protest, saying those chemicals are "trade secrets." And now lawmakers are trying to take control of drilling fluids away from the commission.
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Fracking Commission to lawmakers: Hands off!

The head of the state's fracking commission has asked Republican lawmakers to honor a hands-off policy with regard to shale gas exploration. N.C. Mining & Energy Commission Chairman James Womack wrote to lawmakers that the legislature's recent attempt to trump the commission's work not only creates the potential for abuse by the energy industry but also stirs up North Carolina's anti-fracking opponents. The warning is the latest development in a fracking subplot unfolding between the year-old commission and the state legislature that created the commission last year to write 120-plus safety rules to govern fracking in the state. Womack, a Republican himself, sent a 2-page letter late Sunday to the Republican leaders in the legislature: N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis. The letter, which was carbon-copied to all N.C. House and Senate members, follows a unanimous vote Friday by the commission. Commissioners are exercised about a recent Senate committee vote to bypass the commission on the most important issue of fracking safety: chemical disclosure.
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Oil and agriculture tense over fracking in California

By: Jack Tarpey Hydraulic fracturing in California was recently written up in the New York Times, focusing on the ties between the oil industry and agriculture. The article discusses recent oil well developments on the Monterey Shale, which stretches 1,750 square miles between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The area above this shale formation also happens to be some of the most fertile farming land in California. The situation arising out west is one that we cannot let happen in our home of North Carolina.

Fracking on the rise in California

By: Jack Tarpey Hydraulic fracturing in California was recently written up in the New York Times, focusing on the ties between the oil industry and agriculture. The article discusses recent oil well developments on the Monterey Shale, which stretches 1,750 square miles between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The area above this shale formation also happens to be some of the most fertile farming land in California. The situation arising out west is one that we cannot let happen in our home of North Carolina.
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Fracking wastewater poses a risk

Editorial - Raleigh News & Observer - The news on fracking just keeps getting worse. As Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly rush to open the state to energy companies eager to mine natural gas reserves believed trapped in shale rock formations deep underground, they seem to be stumbling into reality a little at a time. Fracking is the procedure used to extract that gas, and basically it means pumping in huge amounts of water and chemicals to smash that shale. But the wastewater from the process has to go somewhere, and now it turns out that somewhere might include North Carolina’s precious and fragile coastal counties. Potentially jeopardizing the state’s most valued natural resource and the bedrock, so to speak, of the tourism industry is foolhardy.
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NC's coastal counties could get fracking waste if ban lifted

By John Murawski — Forty years ago, when North Carolina banned using deep wells to permanently dump industrial waste, some thought the issue had been decided for good. Now state lawmakers who want to turn North Carolina into the nation’s next fracking hotspot are reopening the case for injecting brines and toxins deep underground. This time, the proposal is shifting the fracking debate from the center of the state, where the energy exploration and economic benefits would occur, to tourism-dependent coastal communities where the disposal wells would have to be drilled.
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