NC residents debate underground gas fracking

SANFORD, NC (AP) - The public debate begins in earnest over whether natural gas trapped in Piedmont North Carolina's shale rock formations is a promising energy source or a serious threat.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources expects a big turnout Monday in Sanford, the first of three public meetings on the issue.

The agency is studying the pros and cons of drilling into the shale and must prepare a report for the General Assembly by May.

The drilling process called fracking isn't allowed in North Carolina, but speculators have already leased more than 9,000 acres in Lee County for future drilling and exploration rights.

Critics say the method results in chemical spills, polluted underground aquifers, and earthquakes caused by the subterranean blasts.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Anyone interested in the subject of extracting natural gas from the earth needs to watch the HBO documentary "GASLAND" . Yes, there is big money for the landowners, but the downside is the devastating impact on underground water supplies.....the water table. The chemicals used to extract the gas are not available to the public. The cracks created allow natural gas into the water table and some landowners can literally light their house water on fire as it comes out of the home faucets. Any grazing animals ingest the chemicals through grazing or drinking the water. Yes, you can get rich, but at what cost? Again, GREED owns the day.