NC lawmakers going to Arkansas to examine fracking

Nov. 20, 2013 @ 01:51 PM

North Carolina General Assembly members and staff are traveling out of state to get a closer look at how a kind of natural gas drilling called fracking works.

Leaders of the Joint Legislative Commission on Energy Policy say about a dozen people planned to travel Wednesday to Arkansas. There they'll meet with state environmental regulators Thursday and visit natural gas producer Southwestern Energy on Friday.

The panel is watching how North Carolina's mining and energy commission is developing regulations for hydraulic fracturing. Final rules are expected next fall. Lawmakers must formally vote before fracking permits can be awarded.

Commission co-chairman Sen. Bob Rucho told The News & Observer of Raleigh (http://bit.ly/1aRqFAR) that the bipartisan group attending the taxpayer-funded trip will learn how other states are handling shale gas exploration.