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In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 photo, oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. An emerging oil boom has been sparked by modern technologies using horizontal drilling and a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or Г’fracking,Г“ to coax out oil and gas. The potential production from the Mississippian Lime formation here - and its impact on domestic energy supplies - remains uncertain. But the use of the technology to unlock energy supplies previously unavailable in the United States is now in play in places like Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Orlin Wagner

In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 photo, oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. An emerging oil boom has been sparked by modern technologies using horizontal drilling and a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or Г’fracking,Г“ to coax out oil and gas. The potential production from the Mississippian Lime formation here - and its impact on domestic energy supplies - remains uncertain. But the use of the technology to unlock energy supplies previously unavailable in the United States is now in play in places like Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Editorial: Responsible fracking

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It may be that induced hydraulic fracturing, the process commonly known as fracking, is a perfectly safe and effective way to draw natural gas from deep within the earth’s crust. It could be that fears about the process polluting groundwater reservoirs and inflicting considerable and irreversible environmental damage are overblown and without merit.

Until North Carolina knows that for certain, however, it makes sense to allow research and determine the necessary regulations to ensure protection of drinking water near fracking sites. The General Assembly has two bills with competing approaches to this issue and backing a measure that moves hastily to allow the process would be a grave mistake.

The N.C. Legislature intends to only cover a few policy items during its short session this year, but the issue of natural gas exploration somehow earned a place at the table. After several attempts to open the state’s coastline to oil drilling failed, lawmakers turned their attention to another potential source of fuel and employment, looking to allow the controversial process known as fracking.

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Comments

Frack is Wack

We are committing ecological suicide in our approach to energy production and consumption, and the tragic truth is that everything comes down to money. We could have been weaned off of polluting and toxic fossil fuels by now if we had put the R&D into a search for clean energy 30 years ago. Our childrens' health should be our top priority. Just say no to fracking.

Will we never learn?

The very idea of fracking is ridiculous. Why do we risk our health as well as our environment to save a few dollars? We live in a delicate ecosystem, and such a process has unintended consequences as well as proven dangers. NC should ban fracking.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart