NC Fracking Remains in Limbo, 5 Yrs After Legislature Approved It

In 2012 the North Carolina legislature cleared the way for the state to allow horizontal fracking of shale (see NC Law to Legalize (and Encourage) Fracking Advances). The law gave state officials two years to come up with rules and regulations to govern fracking in NC. Along the way a lawsuits were launched, slowing things down (see Judge Puts NC Fracking on Hold Pending Outcome of Lawsuit). That case was resolved in January 2016. However, the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) didn’t let the lawsuit stop them from drilling a series of test holes in Stokes, Scotland, Hoke and Cumberland counties to see whether shale gas is present in those locations (see Lawsuit Won’t Stop NC Agency from Drilling Test Holes in Shale). Unfortunately test results showed that three of the four counties have no measurable presence of Triassic shale and therefore are not suitable for drilling (see Whatever Happened to Fracking in North Carolina?). Even if a company wanted to begin drilling, members of the North Carolina’s Oil & Gas Commission who would approve applications have not been sworn in. Nine commissioners were appointed by outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican legislature–but new Gov. Roy Cooper (Democrat) refuses to swear in the commissioners and allow fracking to begin. One more Democrat who acts like a dictator. Where have we seen that before?…

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