Update: The North Carolina Senate needed only 24 hours to override Governor Bev Perdue’s veto of a bill that would allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state. The state House of Representatives quickly followed suit and the bill has become law over the governor's veto.
Hydraulic fracturing is currently prohibited in North Carolina. The bill creates a commission to develop a regulatory program to permit the process and govern issues such as rights of landowners, protection of water quality, and safety.
But the bill did not win the endorsement of the North Carolina Department of Environment and National Resources, which indicated that the bill provided neither the funding nor the time needed to develop a regulatory and enforcement program and hire and train professional staff. The DENR also stated that additional research on North Carolina's geology and hydrogeology is needed to identify conditions under which hydraulic fracturing can be done without putting the state's water resources at risk.
Governor supports fracking
“I support hydraulic fracturing for natural gas because I believe it can and should be part of a comprehensive mix of energy sources that will create jobs, reduce costs for businesses and families, and keep our economy growing,” said Gov. Perdue in her veto message. “Before we frack, however, we need strong safeguards in place that are specifically adapted to conditions in North Carolina.
Concerning the veto override, Governor Perdue said: "It’s disappointing that the leaders in General Assembly would allow fracking without ensuring that adequate protections will be in place for drinking water, landowners, county and municipal governments, and the health and the safety of families in North Carolina. I hope the General Assembly will re-visit this issue and strengthen the safeguards before fracking begins."
The North Carolina's Clean Energy and Security Act (Senate Bill 820) is at http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/Senate/PDF/S820v5.pdf.