Governor Pat McCrory signed the Energy Modernization Act of 2014 today at N.C. State University. A statement released by the Governorâ€™s office says the legislation will clear the way for energy exploration, high-tech jobs and new investment in North Carolinaâ€™s energy sector.
A recent study by N.C. Stateâ€™s Dr. Michael Walden cites a number of benefits of on-shore energy development in North Carolina, including:
- Close to 500 jobs created from infrastructure development (over a seven-year build-up of facilities).
- $80 million in new annual income created in North Carolina (over a seven-year build-up of facilities).
- Close to 1,500 jobs created from production activities (over a 20-year recovery period).
- Over $150 million in new annual income in North Carolina (over a 20-year recovery period).
Natural gas exploration includes fracking, which refers to hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting oil and gas by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals into rock. Permits for fracking could be issued by May 2015.
The bill, which was opposed by environmentalists, makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to disclose the chemicals used in fracking. Doctors and emergency personnel are among those who could be charged if they violate the law.
The Governorâ€™s statement says the legislation has safeguards in place to protect the environment.