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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 13:34

Gov. McCrory Signs Energy Modernization Act into Law

Gov. Pat McCrory Gov. Pat McCrory courtesy of the Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory signed the Energy Modernization Act of 2014 today at N.C. State University.  A statement released by the Governor’s office says the legislation will clear the way for energy exploration, high-tech jobs and new investment in North Carolina’s energy sector.

A recent study by N.C. State’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 Governor’s statement says the legislation has safeguards in place to protect the environment.

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