Stokes County approves 3-year moratorium on oil, gas development

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DANBURY, N.C. — Stokes County Commissioners took what many residents are calling ‘a big step’ towards keeping fracking out of the county.

Commissioners voted unanimously for a three-year moratorium on oil and gas development Monday night.

Residents gave commissioners a standing ovation and offered words of thanks before the vote came down.

“I’m here to thank you for every step that you’ll take to help prevent Stokes County from being a poison for profit community,” said resident David Hairston.

For the past year, hundreds of residents have protested against fracking—which uses hydraulic fracturing or drilling to get natural gas and oil from rock below the ground.

Many residents argued that fracking would be dangerous to the environment and could affect drinking water.

“We won’t be able to exist in this county without water to drink and use,” said resident Jim Mitchell.

Close to a dozen residents spoke out at the meeting, thanking commissioners for hearing their cries.

“A moratorium of three years, no it’s not the all answer but it’s a start. And we appreciate you for considering that,” said one resident.

Test drilling began in Walnut Cove in June despite outcry from those who live in the area.

Residents showed up to past public hearings in large numbers with protest signs and buttons showing their opposition.

“Protect our children, our precious water resources, our air, our property rights and the rights of all citizens to a clean place to live,” said resident Mary Kerley.

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