Now that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) says shale drilling or “fracking” could be done safely in North Carolina lawmakers are going ahead with legislation to set up the framework for rules and funding. Rep. Mitch Gillespie (R-McDowell) says a bill will be ready for the upcoming session beginning April 23. Gillespie says there are ten issues the legislation will address.
Other issues include landowner protections, impacts on local governments, operators liability and appropriate funding.
The legislation would require test drilling to examine the water tables in potential exploration sites. It would also set up an Oil and Gas Board to oversee energy exploration. After the regulatory framework is approved Gillespie says it would be the long session in 2014 at the earliest before final rules and laws are set in place to actually begin drilling.