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SB 76 Passes House Commerce Quickly, Moves to House Environment

On Wednesday, June 5, the House Commerce Committee voted to approve a revised version of  S76, which now moves on to the House Environment Committee. The new version of S76 is significantly changed from the version that passed by the Senate in February. Despite the changes summarized below, the bill still poses major risks to our communities, including promotion of onshore and offshore drilling. Here’s a summary of the changes made to S76:

  • Permits may be issued starting March 1, 2015, however, these permits will not be effective until the General Assembly takes legislative action. This is a set up for lawsuits by drilling companies, and reverse of the procedure in Senate Bill 820 where legislative approval of regulations would come BEFORE permits would be issued.
  • Legalization of deep injection of oil and gas wastes has been removed.
  • A requirement for “landmen” to register in North Carolina is back in the bill.
  • No longer prohibits local governments from assessing taxes to pay for increased costs from gas development impacts (road maintenance, emergency services). Requires a study of local taxation and severance tax.
  • Puts a public health representative and geologist back on the Mining and Energy Commission.

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