NC House releases more cautious 'fracking' bill

Jun. 05, 2013 @ 12:57 PM

The North Carolina House is taking a more cautious approach to opening the state for oil extraction.

The House Commerce Committee endorsed a bill Wednesday that changes many of the provisions in a Senate bill designed to start issuing permits to energy companies seeking natural gas through a controversial method known as hydraulic fracturing.

The House bill restores legislative approval of regulations before companies can begin drilling. State agencies could begin issuing permits in 2015 that would not become effective until the legislature takes action.

Critics still oppose issuing any permit before the legislature approves the rules governing the industry.

The bill also makes changes that appeased some coastal lawmakers concerned about waste disposal.

The bill now heads to the Environment Committee.