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NC Senate panel sets 1st marker for fracking laws

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EMERY P. DALESIO
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A North Carolina legislative panel offers a proposed law that would bar a natural gas drilling method called fracking for more than two years while regulations are being developed.

The Senate's energy committee unveiled language Wednesday that if approved by the General Assembly and Gov. Bev Perdue would establish a path to allow fracking. The Senate proposal would ban fracking until at least July 2014.

Environment North Carolina Executive Director Elizabeth Ouzts (oohtz) says the economic benefit to natural gas drilling is uncertain when oversupply has driven down the fuel's price, while water and air threats are shown in other states.

The state environmental agency said in a study released last month that lawmakers should set up a regulatory framework before allowing the drilling method used to free underground deposits.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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