NC Senate panel OKs framework to regulate fracking

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- A Senate committee has recommended a framework which the state of North Carolina should follow while legalizing a controversial form of natural gas drilling.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted Tuesday in favor of the measure, which would lift a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. But state permits wouldn't occur for at least another two years while regulations are developed.

The bill would direct state agencies to devise a regulatory program to manage oil and gas exploration that ultimately would be approved by the General Assembly.

Bill Weatherspoon with the North Carolina Petroleum Council calls the bill a good ``take-it-slow'' approach. Several Democrats opposed to the bill says the process should go even slower because the environmental risks are so great.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.

Source: The Associated Press

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