McCrory signs fracking law
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signs into law a measure that fast-tracks fracking in the state. Rep. Hager is fourth from the right. (Photo from the governor's Facebook page.)

NC passes fracking law, seeks taxpayer subsidies for industry

This week North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a bill that opens up the state to fracking for natural gas. The Energy Modernization Act will allow drilling permits to be issued 61 days after the state Mining and Energy Commission approves final rules for the industry, which is expected to happen by next summer.

The new law breaks a pledge from legislators that they would review and approve the rules before the state's drilling moratorium could be lifted. Environmental advocates also criticize the law for failing to adequately address the risks associated with fracking and for weakening safeguards. Supporters claim it will boost North Carolina's economy.

"We have watched and waited as other states moved forward with energy exploration, and it is finally our turn," McCrory said in his announcement of the law's signing at North Carolina State University. "This legislation will spur economic development at all levels of our economy, not just the energy sector."

Standing by McCrory's side as he signed the bill were legislative leaders who played key roles in the push for drilling, including Rep. Mike Hager, a Rutherford County Republican and former Duke Energy engineer. Besides leading the legislative drive to allow fracking in North Carolina, Hager has also led an effort -- unsuccessful so far -- to kill the state's renewable energy standard, calling it a form of "corporate welfare" and an "entitlement program."

But it turns out that North Carolina's Republican leaders are now seeking taxpayer-financed "corporate welfare" for the oil and gas industry -- even though the five biggest drilling companies alone hauled in $93 billion in profits last year. As The News & Observer of Raleigh reports:

* The state Senate's proposed budget includes nearly $1.2 million to help the energy sector with drilling, analysis and marketing.

* McCrory's proposed budget includes $500,000 for drilling up to three test wells in Lee County, part of the state targeted for fracking.

* A separate $550,000 initiative was approved last year to help the energy industry assess fracking prospects.

The new fracking law also calls on the state to conduct taxpayer-financed studies on locating a liquid natural gas export terminal on the North Carolina coast, establishing a curriculum to train drilling industry workers at Central Carolina Community College, and developing infrastructure to facilitate oil and gas development such as pipelines, compressor stations, and gas processing systems. In addition, it prohibits local governments from imposing taxes on gas produced in their jurisdictions.

Joining the oil and gas subsidy game

North Carolina's plans to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize the oil and gas industry fall in line with historical efforts to spend public dollars to support politically powerful dirty-energy interests.

Oil Change International, a group that advocates for ending fossil fuel subsidies, estimates that the U.S. provides anywhere from $14 billion to $52 billion in annual support for oil, gas and coal companies. Over the past century, the federal government has pumped more than $470 billion into the oil and gas industry alone in the form of tax breaks.

Oil and gas companies also enjoy substantial subsidies at the state level, though they go largely untracked. A 2012 Earth Track report that looked at fossil fuel subsidies in five states including Louisiana, a center of both onshore fracking and offshore drilling, found that revenue losses from Louisiana's tax exemptions for the industry were $7 billion in fiscal year 2010. And severance tax losses, mostly from oil and gas, cost Louisiana $354 million. Severance taxes are imposed on the removal of nonrenewable resources.

Fracking has also received significant taxpayer support. Over the past three decades, the federal government has spent more than $100 million on research to develop the technique, which involves injecting large quantities of water along with sand and toxic chemicals underground to break shale rock formations and release natural gas.

This appears to be the direction in which North Carolina's current political leadership is headed: spending public dollars on a highly profitable industry that imposes significant social costs, including health-damaging water and air pollution. Fracking also releases significant amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate disruption -- a serious concern for a coastal state like North Carolina that's vulnerable to sea-level rise and intensifying tropical storms.

"The state has already spent significant resources in pursuit of fracking, with no new jobs to show for it (beyond the state government staff hired to write the new rules)," NC Conservation Network Policy Director Grady McCallie wrote in his analysis of the new law. "If the legislature had spent a fraction of these resources on renewable energy and efficiency, we would already be seeing the payoff in jobs and income for North Carolinians."

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signs into law a measure that fast-tracks fracking in the state. Rep. Hager is fourth from the right. (Photo from the governor's Facebook page.)
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They're Kidding, Right?

So they run off a safe, booming film industry and prop up dangerous fossil fuel extraction to ship gas we don't need overseas via their new export terminal. And how much of this is supposed to "trickle down' to the tax base versus some obscene corporate profit at the expense of our environment? Let's be honest, the only thing trickling down from this continued sell out of the North Carolina people is corporate contributions to GOP campaigns. Keep voting for these horrible leaders North Carolina, and you'll get what you deserve--Mississippi.

There's probably not enough

There's probably not enough natural gas in NC worth all the fuss.

Frackin Nuts

Take a look around, folks. Take a good hard look at what we've allowed in Texas, and what it's done-ruined property, decimated home values, pitted neighbor against neighbor all the while the frackers laugh all the way to the bank.

Pennsylvania didn't learn anything, and neither did Colorado, New Mexico or North Dakota. All they saw were the dollar signs and watched the glitzy power point presentation from the mouthpieces at the gas companies talking about nothing more than 'potential'.

Fracking is like those famous sweepstakes notices you get in the mail: "You COULD be a millionaire". (But odds are very much against you)

Bad policy all around

No one wants this. Can't wait to vote these crooks out of office.

Everyone who is sane and not

Everyone who is sane and not driven by the false environmental movement that has been high jacked by anti-capitalists wants fracking. There is zero proof fracking is dangerous, it's a made up lie designed to influence the uninformed and feeble minded.

The reason our gas prices are dropping is because of fracking. And if we could frack on public lands the prices would be even lower. We could spend thr savings on other things, spuring the economy, we wouldn't make our enemys rich (middle east), and our other enemys couldn't exert influence around the world (russia).

And don't start me on the global warming hoax! That is made up by the same crazy environmentalist and anti capitalist, and furthered by greedy selfish liberals like algore. Almost all the greed and selfishness is on the left when you really look honestly at things.

Funny how libs love subsidies for all their pet projects, like solar, wind and unicorn power, but object to anyone else getting a subsidy!

The Saudi's are beefing up

The Saudi's are beefing up oil production to, among other things, stop the U.S. from extracting shale oil (via fracking). Just search, there are lots of news reports from last fall.

You are clueless.

You are clueless.

The reason that crude oil

The reason that crude oil prices are dropping is not because of the oil shale boom and hydrofracking. It is because the Saudis have increased their production in an effort to stabilize their "market share". In fact, the currently low prices make fracking an un-profitable venture. That is why they will require taxpayer subsidies (and, eventually, bailouts) in order to make their profits (which will mostly go out-of-state). In any case, you are incorrect to mock the potential hazards of fracking to the environment. Water is a precious resource that is consumed in enormous quantities and rendered undrinkable by the fracking process. Look at what has happened to local communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Dakota, and Texas. Texans are even banning fracking in their communities now, in the very place it began. Do your research, educate yourself. Fracking was a bad idea, it had its boom, but the bubble has burst and people are waking up to its significant risks. It is no longer even profitable, which is why they want it subsidized.

Before making claims like

Before making claims like that Baxter, you should take some time to understand the economics behind what is driving the recent decline in the price of oil. Excess supply driven by all the recent shale oil production in the western part of the US and a subsequent pricing and production war being waged by OPEC and falling worldwide demand due to slowing economic growth in China and Europe are the key drivers of the rapid decline in oil prices. It has little to do with Increased natural gas production. All of this will only drive down the price and economic gains of natural gas producers over the next couple of years. Educate yourself before you start preaching. And btw, I'm a fiscal conservative and far from a liberal in my economic and capitalistic views

you are truly an idiot.

you are truly an idiot. Fracking for natural gas has nothing to do with your lower gas prices.

The "libs pet projects" aim

The "libs pet projects" aim to actually supplement energy production with cleaner, sustainable developments, while reducing independence on non-renewable, volatile fossil fuels.

I'd sure as hell rather have my tax dollars go to work with improvements to those pet projects than projects aimed at sucking the land dry and leaving it to crumble.

Actually, there is ample

Actually, there is ample proof that fracking is dangerous. A simple google search would bring up plenty of examples. You do know how to work Google,right?

The reason gas prices are dropping actually has nothing to do with fracking. How could it? Fracking hasn't begun in NC yet, and may not ever actually. If you do a little research on Google ( again, let us all know if you don't know how to do that, we can show you) you will see that most geologists involved in researching fracking in NC have stated that the type of reserves we have here, the relatively small amount, and the geology of the land don't really make it economically feasible to frack here in NC anyway....The cost is huge and the reserves are pretty limited.

No, this is just a way to pad the pockets of investors in the oil and gas exploration industry. Pat McCrory's cronies. It has nothing to do with anything other than McCrory having to pay back his wealthy campaign donors. At the expense of North Carolinians and our health and well-being.

But you go on ahead with your Fox News informed rants. They are non-sensical and appalling uninformed. But entertaining...


It isn't as if this has not been proven hazardous in other locations. Is our NC government so greedy to sell the people out for a few fast dollars.

Reducing grants & funding to safe practical alternatives, such solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power are destroying the future value of property. Have we not learned anything from the coal ash issue?

Fracking for bucks

All this fracking is for pure profit....They don't care about you or your drinking water...They have paid for their politicians and they all got elected now its payback time...I don't remember all these GOPers politicking saying they was going to surrender our property rights and sell out to big oil no sir if they had said we are going to make it so you cant say no then I doubt they would have got elected.......There will be no big paying jobs and most will probably use Mexican labor because they will not ask questions about the poisons they will be breathing and handling..

Fracking for Idiots

All this fracking is for pure profit....They don't care about you or your drinking water...They have paid for their politicians and they all got elected now its payback time...I don't remember all these GOPers politicking saying they was going to surrender our property rights and sell out to big oil no sir if they had said we are going to make it so you cant say no then I doubt they would have got elected.......There will be no big paying jobs and most will probably use Mexican labor because they will not ask questions about the poisons they will be breathing and handling..I have watched lots of home videos of people in other states who have had their whole lives ruined by these greedy bastards....all this destruction so they can export all our resources to other countries and leave us the mess.
Senator Burr and Roger West and all the other idiots are supposed to represent us...Apparently that is not so..I think they like the campaign money they receive...Come election time say goodby its time to retire these evil POSs...Also keep an eye on your electric bills...Duke has paid to play so now we pay....

Fracking and Rep. Michelle Presnell

Here is a letter I wrote to Rep. Michelle Presnell:

Dear Ms. Presnell,

How much is our state, North Carolina, giving away (in tax breaks and other incentives) to the exceedingly wealthy oil/shale industry in exchange for your advocacy? How much has the John Locke Foundation given to your campaign?** How much has Art Pope, the Koch brothers, the Cato institute and other far-right organizations given to your campaign? It seems as though you are more influenced by these partisan groups than the welfare of the people of North Carolina.

If fracking liquid is so safe, why are its ingredients proprietary? What do they have to hide? Why can't even emergency personnel know the ingredients if they are called to an accident involving these chemicals?

Maybe you feel confident that the fracking liquid is too far away from sources of our drinking water to do any harm, but I don't. Haven't we polluted the earth enough already in the name of massive profits for large and mostly untouchable corporations? How about people in fracking zones being able to light their water on fire at the kitchen faucet. See:

There IS a correlation between increased seismic activity and fracking. You admit as much in your article from the John Locke Foundation. Only they minimize the issue by calling them "tiny." Personally, I doubt even the JLF is powerful enough to control where and how many rocks "shift" during this unnatural process.

Let me ask you this: would you live over the top of a fracking operation if you had small children and depended on a well or spring for drinking water? Would you believe, swearing on the life of your children, that the water was safe and there was no chance your house could blow up someday killing your family and destroying all you had worked for your entire life?? How about doing your job by representing the people of your state instead of paving the way for rich companies to decimate and pollute our land?

** "In a 2010 investigation by the Institute for Southern Studies, the John Locke Foundation was found to be one of the most outspoken climate skeptics in North Carolina, working in concert with other groups funded by the Koch Brothers and Art Pope to creation the illusion of disagreement about the fundamentals of climate science. Examples cited by the Institute include:[30] In 2005, shortly after legislation addressing climate change was first introduced at the General Assembly, the foundation released a public policy statement titled "Global Warming Policy: NC Should Do Nothing," which claimed that climate science remains "unsettled." That same year, the Locke Foundation distributed to all members of the state legislature the Michael Crichton novel "State of Fear," a work of fiction that promoted the views of Dr. Fred Singer, a prominent climate skeptic. Singer has held positions with the Cato Institute, which was co-founded in 1977 by Charles Koch and funded by the Kochs, and with other Koch-financed groups including the American Council on Science and Health, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Frontiers of Freedom, Heritage Foundation, Institute for Humane Studies, and the National Center for Policy Analysis.

In 2007, as North Carolina began working on ways to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions, it turned for technical assistance to the Center for Climate Strategies, a nonprofit group of scientists, engineers, business strategists and policy experts that has worked with governments in the U.S., Mexico and Canada on tackling climate change issues. In response, the Locke Foundation launched a series of attacks on the Center, charging that it was founded by an "environmental advocacy group known to take alarmist positions on global warming" -- when in fact it was founded by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, a business-friendly group whose directors have included representatives of Reliant Energy, Dow, and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Locke has also teamed up with the Heartland Institute -- a climate-skeptic group that's been financed by the Kochs -- to hold a conference call during which Locke's research director accused the Center of peddling false assumptions like the idea that "carbon dioxide emission reduction is the solution to global warming." Also in 2007, the Locke Foundation released a policy report titled "A North Carolina Citizen's Guide to Global Warming," assuring readers that the "alarming view" of global warming does not represent the scientific consensus. It went on to assert that "[m]ost of the greenhouse effect is natural and is due to water vapor naturally in the atmosphere, as well as natural levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and a few other greenhouse gases." The report was written by Joel Schwartz, who at the time was a visiting scholar at the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute.

** In addition, Locke has questioned mainstream climate science through a series in the Carolina Journal, the foundation's monthly newspaper, and opinion pieces published by its staff in other outlets, like the 2006 American Spectator article in which Locke editor Paul Chesser accused Christian climate activists of "Biblical illiteracy" and warned that "God has some serious global warming of His own planned." It's also spread its message of doubt through speaking engagements by climate science skeptic Pat Michaels, a climatologist who left the University of Virginia under a cloud of controversy over his industry funding and contrarian views to become a fellow at the Koch-founded and funded Cato Institute, as well as through its Carolina Journal radio show, which has discussed topics like "the biases that help convince global warming alarmists that their cause deserves so much attention.""



Frack the politicians that signed the bill. The fracking needs to be done on the signers properties since they want it. North Carolians need to riot at locations of drilling. Does memories of earlier deterioration of wells up north escape the minds of politicians?

forced pooling and split estates

Problem with that train of thought is forced pooling, many residents will be FORCED to go along with this if 95% of their neighbors do.
Note, there are some land owners that have signed mining leases that own 2-3k acres of land, those landowners on a singular basis would make up for the 95 % in the areas to be drilled. ( only takes one large landowner who has leased to force others in their area to go along with this nonsense )
Also even worse is the case of split estates , this is where property owners who own surface property but NOT the mineral rights below them will have to endure Industrial activity on their property as close to 400 feet from the homes.
In many cases mineral rights were severed over 100 years ago and nearly impossible to track down due to poor record keeping in register of deeds offices over the years, this puts a LOT of people in very sad situations.
Surface owners will get their land ruined ,not to mention their quality of life in these cases, with little to no compensation whatsoever.
This is what our state wants our citizens to endure... thanks for nothing Mining and Enegry Commission and NC State legislators who are all for fracking for the little to no regulation to help protect our citizens of this fine state.

Fracking Sad

North Carolina is such a pretty state. I won't be visiting it much anymore. Between the insane gun laws being enacted all over the south and legislation like this, well lets just say I wouldn't feel safe in a state full of people who actually ELECTED a governor who would sign such an obviously horrible law. This is all about greed, but it's also about stupidity and willful ignorance. Pat McCrory isn't fit to be dog catcher.

Then again, "leaders" like Pat McCrory are becoming the norm in the USA.A sad comment on your state - and our country.It won't be long before some other corporation is selling you suckers water - not just to drink - but to shower in.

And some future governor will sign a law denying your right to know what's in THAT water too.


please stay away,we won't

please stay away,we won't miss you

"Elected"? Don't be so sure.

"Elected"? Don't be so sure. One word: gerrymandering.

What a Shame

All that money could go towards solar farms. The the hell is wrong with you people. Stop this insanity before the entire world is uninhabitable.

He has the gall to do this

He has the gall to do this while he is still chest deep in coal ash....I smell Impeachment.

Subsidies for fracking in NC

So now the citizens of North Carolina are going pay up and subsidize the energy companies that want to come in to this state, pollute the ground water and make a profit by doing so and for hardly any energy or jobs to be gained?

"Frack" McCrory, Pope and the entire bought and paid for Tar Heel Teabilly Taliban legislature and senate in Raleigh.

We "can't afford" Medicaid for those in need which would be for next to nothing due to monies from the Fed., nor teacher pay and increases for the education of our children, nor a tax break for those that really need it as opposed to the McCrory/Pope "1% Buddy System" tax break on average of 45K to those over incomes of over 250K...?????

How's that big fat lie known as the "Carolina Comeback" budget deficit of $452 million "thingie" working out for you clowns in Raleigh?

I really wish we would

I really wish we would remember the rules of contraction. It should be spelled frac'ing as it is a contraction of fracturing. Fracking is a different word entirely.

Most journalists say "fracking" with a "k"...

...per the Associated Press Stylebook, which is the Bible on such things:

The Koch brothers bought the

The Koch brothers bought the NC state government- They and Haliburton will make a huge profits on their investment. Interesting that the Goob-anor and the rest of the baffoons in office can't find $ for teachers or won't provide health insurance to the folks who need it but can give away millions to corporations that already make billions in annual profits. Thanks Pat.

What the frack???!!!

Shame on the greed that will ruin North Carolina's clean green future. Was coal ash not dirty enough for you?

Subsidising environmental

Subsidising environmental catastrophe seems incredibly stupid. But these dolts probably won't be around to suffer the consequences that will haunt NC in perpetuity. And they obviously don't care about those that will suffer. Sure signs of psychopathy!

Subsidizing environmental catastrophe

@Michael Downing: Well said. Even without taxpayer funding, injecting toxic chemicals underground where they remain hazardous to our drinking water aquifers is ludicrous. And to fund their activities is insane! If they would just think about what they are doing. And why build all that infrastructure to ship our natural gas elsewhere? Preposterous!!!

Such silliness

"Groundswell: The Case for Fracking"
by Ezra Levant

Biased Nonsense


"Groundswell: The Case for Fracking"
by Ezra Levant


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