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Fracking Bill Passes State Senate

State senators have passed a bill that would promote a controversial method of extracting natural gas popularly known as fracking. Senate Bill 709 would also open the coast to offshore natural gas drilling in conjunction with other states. Republican Senator Bob Rucho is the bill's main sponsor.

Bob Rucho: "It requests the governor make an effort with Virginia and North Carolina in joining a compact and developing the necessary plans to determine whether there is significant resources of natural gas off the coast of North Carolina and also in places like Moore County where there is shale gas potential."

Experts say there are significant deep shale deposits containing natural gas in many central North Carolina counties. But opponents of the measure say studies show the deep drilling can release harmful chemicals into local water supplies. The measure passed the Senate 38 to 12 and now goes to the House.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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