Sylva Herald: No fracking planned for Western North Carolina


Quintin Ellison of the Sylva Herald offers this update on the potential for fracking in Western North Carolina:

The state has retreated from its plan to collect rock samples this year in Jackson and the other far-western counties to test for indications of shale gas deposits.

The presence of such deposits could have led to fracking in the region.

“We are focused on exploring and developing the basins with a likelihood of finding shale gas,” wrote Donald van der Vaan, chief deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in an Aug. 21 memorandum obtained by The Herald.

Click over to read the full story. The story also notes that there is a meeting planned for Sept. 12 at Western Carolina University to take public comment on fracking, but it’s unclear how the above decision will affect the hearing.


Matt September 8, 2014 - 4:49 pm

We dodged that bullet.

theOtherBarry September 9, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Ya think? Just as likely a stunt to ramp down opposition in the western part of the state while they push ahead in the east.

This GOP-led govt. in Raleigh has mastered the tactic of divide-and-conquer.

Matt September 9, 2014 - 8:43 pm

Maybe you’re right, but my assumption is the energy industry has enough clout to just follow money and not be accountable to any supposed ‘public discussion’ on the matter of fracking.

It’s prolly a face value situation: they can’t make it financially viable here, (yet)

I picture a big scary giant sniffing for oil, and he wandered through the mountains, and we all got scared, and he didn’t smell any, so now he’s lumbering back to the piedmont.

theOtherBarry September 10, 2014 - 1:18 pm

And the whole thing could merely have been a feint to distract WNC folks from something real, or it may have been Mitch Gillepsie’s way of trying to squeeze more funding out of the NCGA for DENR.

I was at the ERC meeting where shale in WNC was first mentioned, and he was definitely working the room in the hopes of getting a fatter budget for exploration. Tossing in the possibility of shale in WNC may have just been his way to sucker in a reluctant Western legislator or two, and it blew up in his face.

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