Skip to main content

North Carolina and Fracking

In 2014, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law lifting the state’s ban on fracking and making it legal for the Mining and Energy Commission to issue fracking permits as early as spring 2015.

In March 2015, the MEC began accepting permit requests for drilling. However, the commission was halted only months later by a federal judge who issued a new moratorium on fracking over a challenge to the constitutionality of the appointments to the MEC.

Some North Carolinians worry that the current regulations are too weak to protect their groundwater, which half of the state population drinks, and deprive local governments of control.

Did You Know?

Fracking remains on hold in North Carolina due to the success of a local lawsuit that argued the creation of the MEC violated separation of powers.

The North Carolina General Assembly created the commission in 2012, and most of its members came from that same assembly. A judge issued a stay, prohibiting the commission from accepting or processing permit applications for drilling units.

This creates a de facto moratorium on fracking in North Carolina until a ruling on a related case from the state’s Supreme Court.

Last Updated: September 29, 2015

The Fracked Fact Quiz

Local governments in North Carolina can ban fracking within their communities.
True.
False.
Local governments in North Carolina are prohibited from banning fracking in their communities by state law. It is also illegal to reveal the chemicals used in fracking by oil and gas companies.

For More Information:

The Fraccidents Map:

High profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's oil and gas drilling boom have occurred around North Carolina. Click on each Fraccident icon. fraccident to learn more:

Fracking Across The United States: