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10:26 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Fracking Could Soon Be Legal In North Carolina

A Senate committee is recommending a protocol it says the state of North Carolina should follow while legalizing a controversial form of natural gas drilling. 

The Senate Commerce Committee voted yesterday in favor of the measure, which would lift a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  But state permits wouldn't occur for at least another two years while regulations are developed.

The bill would direct state agencies to devise a regulatory program to manage oil and gas exploration that ultimately would be approved by the General Assembly.

Bill Weatherspoon with the North Carolina Petroleum Council calls the bill a good "take-it-slow" approach. Several Democrats opposed to the bill say the process should go even slower because the environmental risks are so great.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.

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