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2012 Archives

Reason Prevails In North Carolina’s Hydraulic Fracture-Stimulation Debate


The following ran in the July 3, 2012, edition of the Oil and Gas Investor blog. Economist Bernard Weinstein provided expertise for this story.

July 12, 2012

North Carolina’s legislators have overridden Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of pro-hydraulic-fracture-stimulation legislation, thus allowing the well-known oil- and gas-extraction-assistance technique in the state in the future.
The state’s Senate voted 29-13 to override, according to Reuters; the House, 72-47.
James Taylor, senior fellow for environmental policy for The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based supporter of free markets, says in an institute press release, “State agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have diligently monitored hydraulic fracturing for decades. As EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified under oath in Congressional hearings, EPA has not found a single case of hydraulic fracturing contaminating groundwater. State agencies have yet to identify a single case of groundwater contamination, either.”
The institute also provides a statement from Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University and a policy advisor to the institute: “…The outcome is a plus for North Carolina taxpayers and businesses. Fracking has been used for more than 50 years to complete tens of thousands of wells across the U.S., and neither the Environmental Protection Agency nor state regulators have ever documented a case of groundwater contamination from the process.
“North Carolina now has the potential to join America’s shale-gas revolution, which is helping put our country on the path to energy independence with attendant economic and fiscal benefits to producing states.”