Gov. Bev Perdue issued an executive order telling DENR and Commerce to study how fracking can be undertaken safely in North Carolina. The two departments are to form a working group and reach out to the General Assembly, which is considering a couple of different Republican bills aimed at allowing fracking. The order is open-ended — no time limit is set.
Here's the order:
“North Carolina needs a strong set of standards in place before we allow fracking here. If done safely, fracking can be part of a larger energy solution to create jobs and help lower energy costs. Before we permit anyone to ‘frack’ in North Carolina, however, we must hear from all sides, address all issues, and develop a robust set of rules.
First and foremost, those rules must put every necessary precaution into place to protect our drinking water and safeguard the health and safety of every single North Carolinian. The rules must also protect the interests of landowners and address the needs of county and municipal governments. “Today’s Executive Order will help to establish guidelines and create a framework for considering the type of standards that must be developed before any energy development begins.”
The gist of Perdue's statement seems to be, we're gonna be fracking, so let's get cracking.