Raleigh City Council Passes Cautionary Fracking Resolution

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While the General Assembly moved forward Wednesday with legislation that would prepare North Carolina to legalize fracking, Raleigh’s City Council passed its own resolution regarding the issue just days before.

The resolution passed unanimously, and calls for the General Assembly to proceed “in a deliberate and thoughtful way” concerning legislation regarding hydraulic fracturing.

It also calls for an extensive consideration of all benefits and consequences related to shale gas extraction, including social, economic and environmental possibilities, before any decisions be made to allow fracking — if it is allowed at all.

Additionally, the resolution asks that the rights of local governments to control and manage land within their jurisdictions be preserved in regards to oil and gas activities.

This fourth draft of the resolution falls more in line with legislation soon to be proposed by Republican Rep. Mitch Gillespie than it does Republican Sen. Bill Rucho’s ratified Energy Jobs Act, Senate Bill 709.

Gillespie’s legislation would begin the process of regulating and preparing the state for hydraulic fracturing, but would wait until all the proper safeguards are in place to actually legalize fracking. It would also incorporate all of the recommendations made by DENR in the report they issued to the GA May 1st.

Rucho’s ratified Energy Jobs Act could legalize fracking as early as mid-2014, putting a much stricter time frame on the establishment of appropriate protections.

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