Brief History of the Rush to Frack in NC

A short history of the rush to allow fracking in North Carolina.

  • NC laws: groundwater protected as drinking water (>2.7 million private well users)
  • ~2005 – new form of fracking widely used. Now: fracking in about 36 states
  • 2008—NC shale gas areas published in geology journal, state officials begin to promote potential
  • 2009-2010– NC legislative discussions of shale gas
  • 2011-May, 2012—Shale Gas Study Bill passes, DENR study
  • May-June, 2012—Sen. Bill 820—immediately legalizes fracking, allow forced pooling, minimal landowner protections, at least two years to develop regulations. Production permits as early as 2014, additional vote by legislature required.
  • Senate Bill 820 (Sen. Rucho, R-Mecklenburg):
  • Removes prohibitions for hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and wastewater injection; Moratorium on permits until 2014
  • Mining and Energy Commission-largely industry controlled; conflicting authority for environmental regulation, less than 5 yr supply!
  • Allows “forced pooling” of unwilling landowners
  • Pre-empts any local ordinances that ban or control
  • Perdue Vetoed S820 on July 1, but House and Senate Voted to Override July 2 (House by one vote, probably an error)

  • Senate Bill 76 (SB76) “The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act” was passed by the legislature and became law in July, 2013.  The final version of the bill promotes offshore drilling, but it does NOT include some of the worst provisions proposed by the Senate, including allowing underground injection of fracking wastes, and fast-tracking permitting before regulations are completed!
  • HB 74 was signed into law in August, 2013, guts protections for landfills and groundwater, also limits environmental ordinances.

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