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Debate over natural gas extraction just beginning in NC
Written by Mike Raley/David Horn   
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 10:19

(RALEIGH) -- Exploration companies are snapping up mineral rights among the tobacco fields and chicken houses of Piedmont North Carolina for the possibility of enough natural gas to meet demand for decades. But Hope Taylor of Clean Water for NC said drilling would carry environmental risks.

"Some of the chemicals that have been both acknowledged by the industry and others that have not yet been fully disclosed raise our concerns about chemicals that can cause hormonal disruptions or even cancer," said Taylor.

Rayola Dougher of the American Petroleum Institute said fracking is a proven and safe method of extracting natural gas from the ground.

"We've used hydrofracking for 60 years now in about 1.2 million wells, so we've been doing this for many years.  The majority of the natural gas that we have in the United States is actually from hydrofracking," said Dougher.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking or hydrofracking, injects water and chemicals underground at high pressure to crack open shale rock formations. The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill this session that moves the state a step closer to allowing hydraulic fracturing in the state.  The legislative measure calls for a study of whether the controversial method would be environmentally safe in the Tar Heel State.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 10:20
 
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