RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina House committee members have given the green light to a much-debated form of natural gas drilling.
The House Environment Committee met Wednesday morning to examine a Senate bill that would direct several state agencies to devise fracking regulations by October 2014. That's when the first permits could be offered.
The House was expected to vote on the measure later Wednesday.
The hydraulic fracturing drilling method involves injecting a drilled well with chemicals, water and sand to crack shale rock and free trapped natural gas. Environmentalists worry that there are not enough protections to prevent groundwater contamination.
The Senate approved the bill last week mainly along party lines. Bill supporters say the rules will help the state tap into domestic energy and create new jobs.