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Wednesday, 28 May 2014 15:03

Senate votes to lift fracking moratorium

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The North Carolina Senate voted to lift the state’s fracking moratorium last week in a party-line vote. Democrats voted unanimously against the bill, which could come up in the House for consideration this week. 

The bill would also prevent counties from passing their own regulations or bans against fracking.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a method of fossil fuel extraction that involves drilling a wellbore thousands of feet into the ground and causing explosions at its maximum depth to open the surrounding rock. Fracking fluid is then injected to hold the rock open so fossil fuels can flow out. The practice has revolutionized the fossil fuel industry in the United States, but its adversaries contend that it brings dire environmental consequences. 

As written, the legislation would allow the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission to start issuing permits on March 1, 2015, and start fracking in the summer of 2016. 

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