The process known as "fracking" has led to a surge in natural gas production in the U.S. and some in North Carolina want in. Hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting natural gas from deep below the earth's surface is now legal in the state. Another vote is required by the legislature to allow drilling, but permits could be issued as early as 2015. We'll talk with the chairman of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, the group charged with developing rules and regulations for the controversial practice, along with WFAE reporter Ben Bradford to discuss the prospects for a shale gas industry here. We’ll also talk with a Duke University environmental scientist about some of the risks involved, including results of a new study that links hydraulic fracturing to water contamination in Pennsylvania.
Jim Womack - Chairman, North Carolina Mining & Energy Commission; Lee County Commissioner; and Vice-Chairman, National Association of Counties’ Energy/Renewables Subcommittee.
Dr. Robert Jackson - Nicholas Professor of Global Environmental Change, Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and Co-Author of the recent study “Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater Disposal on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania”
Ben Bradford - WFAE Reporter who has being covering the story