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.