It is expected that by 2015 natural gas drilling will be permitted in North Carolina. By Spring or Summer of 2014, preliminary drilling for core samples could begin. Following that, the public will be allowed to comment on the Mining and Energy Commission’s regulatory proposals and recommendations will then be forwarded to the General Assembly. If the recommendations are approved, it means the drilling moratorium could be lifted by March 2015.
The fracking process requires water, chemicals and sand to be blasted into shale which breaks it up and releases the gas that is trapped within. As a result, fracking opponents are raising question in regards to where the drilling companies would get the high volume of water required for the process. This question is quite valid, as a few towns in Texas were left without water as a result of fracking.
Officials of the Mining and Energy Commission sought to allay the fears of fracking opponents by highlighting the positives of fracking. Some of the benefits highlighted included a growth of tax base in counties, more jobs which will reduce the State’s unemployment rate, and an increase in the median family income by approximately 50 percent.