Two state Republican lawmakers said Wednesday they will lead an effort to delay legalizing fracking in this state. The move casts doubt on plans by some in the state legislature who have been pushing to quickly legalize the controversial natural gas extraction technique.
Rep. Mitch Gillespie, chairman of the House appropriations committee, spent an hour outlining for reporters reasons why the state should take several years to make sure fracking is done safely and responsibly. Gillespie, representing Burke and McDowell counties, said that conducting more research and crafting laws would delay legalized fracking here by at least two to three years.
Gillespie was flanked on one side by Rep. Michael Stone of Harnett and Lee counties, areas where natural gas deposits are thought to be held underground in shale rock formations. On Gillespie’s other side stood Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Guilford County Democrat sympathetic to environmental causes who said she remained concerned that fracking contaminates drinking water and endangers public safety. More here.