Chatham Co. residents speak out against fracking

April 18, 2012 2:16:13 PM PDT
The controversial issue of fracking was the topic of a meeting Monday night in Chatham County. Fracking is the technique of hydraulic drilling for natural gas.

The forum in Pittsboro was held to inform residents who live in areas where some land has already been leased for future drilling.

The state's environmental agency has said fracking can be safe with the right precautions. Critics, however, said it carries pollutions risks.

"What makes North Carolina think they can control this industry with regulations and permits," asked one opponent.

Many at the meeting believe drilling for natural gas in their backyard is a bad idea. They said if fracking happens, they will go elsewhere.

"Why can't the people who are supposed to represent us and protect us understand? Maybe we need to elect some who can and will," said another opponent.

Bill Weatherspoon of the North Carolina Petroleum Council thinks fracking is the best investment for the future.

"It's jobs. The other is tax revenue. We need that for governments," said Weatherspoon. "The other thing that everyone seems to express support for -- safe, homegrown energy."

The Petroleum Council said they will take all the concerns from Chatham County residents and elsewhere into consideration. They said they will come up with a plan to make everyone happy. However, they are still several years from taking the issue to lawmakers.

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