RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Senate has approved legislation to prepare issuing permits for underground natural gas exploration in the state.
The Senate bill approved Tuesday authorizes regulators to issue horizontal drilling and fracking permits starting in March 2015. That's five months after a regulatory commission is expected to finalize rules governing the drilling. The General Assembly authorized fracking in 2012 but said permits couldn't be issued without the express consent of legislators.
Republican lawmakers said the permits are needed to create jobs and capitalize on the national boom in gas exploration. Several Democrats said the new GOP-backed bill weakens or repeals many of the protections for surface landowners and the environment approved by lawmakers less than a year ago.
The measure now goes to the state House for consideration.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:13 PM EDT2013-06-19 23:13:54 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WECT) - Gov Pat McCrory has signed into law a repeal of a landmark act that allowed convicted murderers in North Carolina to reduce sentences to life in prison if they could prove racialMore >>
Governor Pat McCrory signed more than 50 bills into law on Wednesday, including one bill that repeals the Racial Justice Act and effectively resumes the death penalty in North Carolina.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 2:04 PM EDT2013-06-18 18:04:45 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Some North Carolina House members have decided to move Senate legislation ahead that would allow speed limits on some state highways to race up to 75 mph. A House committee votedMore >>
Lawmakers in the state House & Senate approved several bills Tuesday morning. Among them, a proposal to increase the speed limit to 75 miles per hour on some stretches of interstate roads in North Carolina, and a bill mandating state workers perform background checks for anyone receiving welfare benefits.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 7:45 PM EDT2013-06-17 23:45:30 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory says he's unsure if he and legislative leaders can agree on a final North Carolina state government budget before the new fiscal year begins in about two weeks. McCroryMore >>
Governor Pat McCrory said Monday he still hopes to have a budget bill signed by July 1, but he does have concerns with the plans passed by both the state House and Senate.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 2:18 PM EDT2013-06-17 18:18:56 GMT
PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) - Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Holshouser has died. He was 78. Holshouser's family said he died Monday morning at a hospital in Pinehurst after a period of declining health. A nativeMore >>
Many of North Carolina's political leaders are honoring former Governor Jim Holshouser, who passed away Monday at the age of 78.More >>
Wednesday, June 12 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-06-12 23:16:08 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A bill designed to clear the way for executions to resume in North Carolina is headed to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk after receiving final legislative approval. The Senate on WednesdayMore >>
The state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that repeals the Racial Justice Act, which inmates on death row used to have sentences reduced to life in prison.More >>
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