Tag Archives: fracking

The Good and Bad of Fracking

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.

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New Drilling Company Heightens Fears Among Fracking Opponents

Due to a state law passed in 2012, fracking is prohibited until 2015 when it is expected that drilling regulations will be finalized. Despite this, a new drilling company based in Texas, known as Tar Heel Triassic Resources is already making plans to conduct seismic testing in Lee County. There are however concerns that the financial instability of one of the board members at Tar Heel Triassic Resources may encourage fracking opponents in the area.

Tar Heel Triassic Resources is a relatively unknown group in drilling circles and records show that it is not a registered corporation in North Carolina. In fact, the board of directors include Texas residents, Alex Alexandrou and Phil Barnett. Both Alexandrou and Barnet have interests in gas companies in Texas. Federal Court records indicate that Barnet filed for Bankruptcy in 2005 and there were accusations by a court trustee that he misrepresented his financial records.

Although preliminary estimates indicate that there is enough oil to power North Carolina for another five years, fears are surfacing among fracking opponents that the limited supply of gas may attract unstable drilling companies.