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Environment

Senate Lawmakers Pass Fracking Bill

Senate lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state.

Jessica Jones: Senate Bill 820 passed yesterday 29 to 19 amid heated debate over whether the controversial method of extracting natural gas should proceed in North Carolina. The bill's Republican sponsors say it's a necessary step toward bringing jobs to the state and harnessing domestic energy sources. It would establish a commission largely staffed by industry professionals that would oversee the process in the state. Some lawmakers' efforts to add amendments that would require more study before fracking could start failed yesterday. A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey says there are enough natural gas supplies in Moore, Chatham and Lee counties to last about five years. Environmentalists are concerned that fracking could contaminate groundwater supplies in the state. The measure now goes to the House.

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