Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Lee County Economic Development
position on the 'fracking' debate
The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources just released a study requested by the 2011 General Assembly on the environmental impact of legalizing the horizontal fracking process for extracting shale gas. The study suggests that shale gas could be extracted safely if the proper environmental safeguards are in place before permits are issued for drilling.
The report also contains a number of recommendations, including: (1) conducting more baseline studies of surface, ground water and air; (2) placing the oversight of permitting and enforcement within DENR, which is consistent with current air- and water-quality regulations; (3) developing a modern oil and gas regulatory program for the State of North Carolina; and (4) conducting more studies of all impacts and implications of extracting shale gas using the fracking method.
The Lee County Economic Development Corporation understands there is a valuable natural resource in this region. If the natural resource is extracted with accepted safeguards and oversight, then there is a potential of significant new revenue flowing into our economy. New revenue for individuals, businesses and governments would improve an economy that has been soft since 2008.
The Lee County Economic Development Corporation supports the initial study performed by DENR and supports continued research into areas the study has suggested need to be examined more closely. We also support the recommendations of the report by DENR.
We urge our local officials to continue to advocate for standards and protections that will allow for the safe extraction of this natural resource.