Tag Archives: fracking

SELC: NC Piedmont One Of The Top 10 Endangered Places of 2012

North Carolina Piedmont

NC Piedmont | Photo: ©Kevin Adams


Rural lands in the North Carolina Piedmont and drinking water sources for some 2.4 million people


Pressure to repeal a law that thus far has kept “fracking” wells out of North Carolina. Continue reading


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Call the Governor and your House Representatives!

Reposted from Clean Water For North Carolina

FrackUpdate: June 7-8!


Keep Up Those Contacts with Representatives and Governor! 

As you know, the Senate passed SB820 this week. Find out how your Senator voted on SB820 by clicking here. If your Senator voted against the bill, call and thank them for their support!

Next week S820 will be heard in the House Environment Committee. Watch for an update when we know exactly when, and prepare to call or email your Representatives! Check to see if your representative is on the Environment Committee by clicking here. Find your  Representative’s contact info here

Please contact the Governor’s office (919-733-4240) to tell her that you know that S820 is NOT consistent with the Governor’s recent Executive Order or the values for protecting NC that she has laid out, and ask her to VETO Senate Bill 820! 


  • 7-9 PM, June 15, Macon County Public Library: CWFNC’s Katie Hicks presents on fracking. Contact Donn Erickson for details sandidonn2@yahoo.com.
  • 7 PM, June 17th. The Depot in Hillsborough. Free screening of “Message from the Marcellus.” A short film by Todd Tinkham and the Dispersed Crew. 
  • June 20, Hendersonville:  Gasland Screening. Details TBA 

Clarification on Estimated NC Gas Supply from NC Shale Basins–Thanks to Grady McCallie
The June 4 USGS assessment for the Deep River Basin (mostly Lee, Chatham, Moore Counties) reported roughly 1,660 billion cubic feet (bcf) of “technically recoverable, undiscovered” shale gas.  The term has a precise meaning: ‘technically recoverable’ means, recoverable at the current limit of technology; ‘undiscovered’ means it is an estimate based on what we know about the rocks, but has not been confirmed by drilling, so the gas might or might not actually turn out to be there.  If the estimate is right, and we spent whatever it cost to pump it all, that would amount to roughly 5.6 years of supply (at 304 bcf/yr, the state’s consumption in 2010).  However, it isn’t ever economical to pump it all. 
The DENR Shale Gas study assumed only 20% of the technically recoverable resource would actually be recovered, and used that as the basis for its economic impact analysis.  If you apply the same rule to the updated USGS estimate, you get 1,660 bcf * 0.2 = 332 bcf/ 304 bcf per year = a 1.1 year supply.  Right now, the economics are worse than that; it’s probably not economical to pump any of it given the market price of natural gas, which is expected to stay low for years to come. We hope that helps!

Recent News: 

Senate Posses Controversial Fracking Bill
“The bill that passed the North Carolina Senate was the committee substitute, an agreement reached by Senator Bob Rucho and Representative Mitch Gillespie, the two Republican factions who had been at odds regarding their vision for the proposed changes in hydraulic fracturing legislation.” June 6, Raleigh Public Record

State gas deposit not a ‘major play,’ one expert says
“The average estimate from the U.S. Geological Survey is that the so-called Deep River Basin contains about 1.7 trillion cubic feet – enough, a state official said, to meet North Carolina’s entire demand for natural gas for 5.6 years.” June 6, Durham Herald Sun

Hands Across Riverdale: The Human Costs of Fracking

Another link between water privatization and fracking:“The Susquehanna River Basin Commission had given Aqua America permission to withdraw up to 3 million gallons of water per day from the Susquehanna River to their fracking operations in the north, and the residents of Riverdale had been given a “generous” offer.”  June 3, Huffington Post

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Frack Free Lobby Day


State lawmakers returned to Raleigh last week and pro-fracking legislators quickly introduced Senate Bill 8201, which would legalizing fracking within two years even if the state doesn’t adopt proper regulations and safeguards (if you believe it can even be properly regulated).

Can you send your state legislators a message urging them to oppose ANY bill that would promote fracking in North Carolina? http://action.ncconservationnetwork.org/OpposeFracking

Fracking is a controversial method of drilling for natural gas (learn more here) that has been tied to groundwater contamination and controversy across the U.S. Some legislators here seem determined to legalize the practice, while ignoring some major news in North Carolina. Some of fracking’s dirty little secrets include:

  • Fracking in North Carolina would involve greater risk compared to other states because “North Carolina’s natural gas reserves are much closer to groundwater than in other states, and the rock in between is not watertight and could permit potent fracking chemicals to work their way upward and contaminate the aquifers.”2
  • Pro-fracking legislators and the fracking industry have claimed that we’re sitting on top of a goldmine of natural gas, but now those claims appear to be grossly overstated. State geologists are now estimating that the proclaimed 40-year supply is not accurate and that the reserves are “closer to an amount that’s equivalent to about five years of the state’s natural gas use.”3
  • Some legislators are touting fracking as a key to economic recovery for North Carolina. Here’s what they’re not saying…the gas industry predicts North Carolina has so little gas that they would not come here for over 20 years. In fact, they also predict that the average number of jobs the gas industry would create in NC is only around 387 statewide. These legislators want you to believe that fracking will bring a tidal wave of jobs, but the facts say otherwise. If jobs really were a priority, why did the legislature pass a budget last year that cut 4,800 jobs from North Carolina’s public school system?4

It’s obvious that North Carolina shouldn’t open the door to this industry at a time when there are still many questions about the process and the impacts to our communities.

Tell your legislators to oppose any bill that would put us on a path to legalizing fracking today.

NC Conservation Network

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Bill Legalizing Fracking in 2014 to be Voted on in May

As legalization grows near, what will you be doing to stop fracking?  Join us in a March in downtown Raleigh this May to say no to hydraulic fracturing.  E-mail dontfracknc@riseup.net to get involved.
Article below by Craig Jarvis – cjarvis@newsobserver.com

RALEIGH — A state Senate committee on energy policy on Wednesday approved a proposal to legalize fracking in North Carolina in a little more than two years, and during that period establish a new regulations to ensure the environmentally sensitive process of natural gas extraction is done safely.

The unanimous vote by the five-member committee advanced a package of three bills dealing with fracking, criticizing federal energy policy while urging opening exploration off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean, and establishing a pilot program to grow fuel-producing grasses. The bills will be introduced in the General Assembly’s short session in May.

Fracking is slang for hydraulic fracturing, which extracts natural gas from deep underground by drilling down and then horizontally and shooting pressurized water, sand and chemicals into shale formations.

Committee chairman Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, said the comprehensive legislation is an important step for the future economy of North Carolina. He said it would ensure that energy exploration and production is developed in an environmentally responsible manner.

But environmental groups were critical of the proposed fracking legislation. They favor the approach recommended last month by a bipartisan trio of House members who called for delaying fracking until more is known about the risks, at least several years down the road.

“It’s like driving a car 90 mph down the freeway with no brakes, no safety belts and a cliff looming ahead,” said Molly Diggins, executive director of the state’s Sierra Club chapter.

Diggins said she’s concerned that the proposal would invalidate local ordinances, prohibit public disclosure of industry records for two years, ease restrictions on groundwater contamination, weaken the regulatory powers of the state Department of Natural Resources and the state Environmental Management Commission, and create a new regulatory board that includes industry representatives.

Elizabeth Ouzts, state director of Environment North Carolina, said the emphasis on energy development should be on wind and solar resources. “It’s a shame and shows Sen. Rucho and his committee are out of touch with the rest of North Carolina.”

The Clean Energy and Economic Security Act would establish four new government entities: an energy jobs council, an interagency task force to develop compressed natural gas fueling facilities, a joint legislative commission to oversee energy policy, and – most importantly – an oil and gas board that would regulate the industry.

Rucho said he met with Gov. Bev Perdue on Tuesday and gave her an overview, and that others would be sitting down with her to discuss the package in more detail. Perdue has come out in favor of fracking, but vetoed an energy bill last year because it ordered her to enter into a compact with Virginia and South Carolina about offshore exploration and revenue sharing. This bill would soften that requirement: Instead of a compact, the governor would have to develop a “strategy” with those neighboring governors, and report back to the General Assembly by the end of this year on how to develop a regional compact. The governor would also be “strongly encouraged” to join a coalition of coastal state governors that has called for a coordinated effort on energy issues.

A spokesman for the governor said Perdue continues to believe that fracking must be done in a way that protects health and safety.

Rucho said he and others have also been meeting with Rep. Mitch Gillespie, a Republican who called for the go-slow approach, and House Speaker Thom Tillis in hopes of getting similar legislation through the House. Rep. Mike Hager, a Republican from Rutherfordton and a fracking proponent, said after the meeting he thinks it stands a good chance in the House. He said he thinks the proposal allows plenty of time to ensure fracking is safe and regulated.

“We think two years is pretty slow,” Hager said. “If I’m not mistaken, this is a process that has been in existence since the late 1940s or early 1950s. How much longer do we need to take?”

Rucho praised the report DENR issued earlier this year concluding that fracking could be done safely as long as the proper regulations were in place. He said the legislation will continue to be revised and will likely end up with even more safeguards than DENR recommended.

The package of proposed laws came out of four meetings by the Legislative Research Commission’s Committee on Energy Policy Issues, and its work is now done. Besides Rucho, its members were Sen. Harris Blake, a Republican from Moore County; Sen. Thom Goolsby, a Republican from New Hanover; Sen. Bill Rabon, a Republican from Brunswick, and Sen. Michael Walters, a Democrat from Robeson.

Jarvis: 919-829-4576

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Join Us in Protesting the DENR Report!

Join Croatan Earth First! in Protesting the DENR Report!
Tuesday  March 20th : Meet at the Wicker Center in Sanford by 6 p.m. at 1801 Nash St.
Tuesday March 27th:  Meet outside East Chapel Hill High School by 6 p.m. at 500 Weaver Dairy Rd.

Help us spread the word, link to this page on your facebook!

DENR Shale Gas Report Released

Contrary to the industry’s history and all common sense, DENR has concluded that fracking “can be done safely in NC,” …  “as long as the right protections are in place.” We disagree!  Every fracking operation around the country has shown the opposite to be true: spills, blow-outs, toxic chemicals in the aquifers and rivers, city water supplies contaminated, cattle deaths, drinking water wells contaminated, strange neurological diseases and cancers developing in affected communities…  We are unwilling to accept these risks for a small economic boom that will bust in the following 40 years.  That’s not even one lifetime, and the people and animals living in the Piedmont will the experiencing the consequences many years into the future.  Natural Gas energy is an unacceptable trade-off.  Links to the documents are below for your perusal.  After this report, it’s important for every person who doesn’t want their land and water to be fracked to show up for these meetings and speak their mind.  Join our demonstrations outside and go inside with a prepared speech.  The land, water, animals, communities, and future generations in North Carolina are depending on you to speak out!

DRAFT Full Report(31MB)
DRAFT Executive Summary(201k)
DRAFT Recommendations and Limitations (470k)

From DENR press release:

“State Environmental Agency Issues Draft Report on Hydraulic Fracturing

RALEIGH – Hydraulic fracturing can be done safely in North Carolina as long as the right protections are in place prior to issuance of any permits for the practice, according to a draft report issued today by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The report also notes the need for more information on groundwater resources in the area where drilling for shale gas may occur before making final decisions on environmental standards.

The report issues the department’s findings following a study of the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of shale gas exploration and development in North Carolina. This study was directed by Session Law 2011-276, which required DENR to study the issue of oil and gas exploration in the state and to specifically focus on the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas. The draft report was issued today ahead of two public meetings scheduled for later this month. The final report to the General Assembly is due May 1.
Findings from this draft report will be presented first in a public meeting to be held at the Wicker Center 1801 Nash Street  Sanford, NC 27330 on March 20, 2012, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The second public meeting has been scheduled for March 27, 2012, and will take place in the auditorium of East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill at 500 Weaver Dairy Rd. from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Both meetings will also be streamed live online at https://its.ncgovconnect.com/denr_shale_gas/.

The same information will be presented at both meetings, and public comments will be accepted at both meetings as well as via mail and email. Written comments on the draft report will be accepted through April 1, in addition to any feedback received at the two public meetings. Written comments can be sent via email to  Shale_gas_comments@ncdenr.gov; or through the mail to NCDENR, attn: Trina Ozer, 1601 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699.”

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Legislator Special Session Feb.16th

Special legislative session starts Feb.16th—have you talked to your Rep. recently about fracking and Senate Bill 709?!?

The “Drill Baby Drill,” Senate Bill 709, was vetoed by Gov. Perdue last June, but Republican House leadership may try again to override it during a special session starting on Thursday, Feb. 16th. While we think that recent events and media attention may be reducing support for the aggressive approach of S709, remember that if the votes against S709 don’t show up, there COULD be a vote called to override the veto! Representatives respond best when they hear from their own constituents.

Please send your Representative a unique, individualized email or give them a call by noon on Feb. 16th to let them know how concerned you are for North Carolina’s drinking water, air and communities. The issues that seem to raise the broadest concerns are lack of landowner protections, vulnerability of thousands of well users and economic and social disruptions of communities in gas development areas. Ask your representative to be sure to vote AGAINST the resolution to override the veto of S709! Here’s where to get home district contact information for your House member: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/memberList.pl?sChamber=House

For those who haven’t seen it here is an excellent presentation by a credible and experienced TX financial analyst, Deborah Rogers, explaining the gas industry’s cynical inflation of jobs numbers, the amount of gas that will be available and appearances of continued growth to dupe more investors onto what she describes as the drilling “treadmill.”

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