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.
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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.
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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 to learn more: