more background information for the unfolding of Fracking in NC

North Carolina is not known for abundant fossil fuel sources of energy, but the central part of the state has a history of locally providing coal from the Triassic Basin. An unfortunate infamy befalls the coal mine of south-central Chatham County as the Coal Glen-Farmville Mine disaster of 1925 marks the worst industrial accident the state has experienced.

The history triggered enough interest to be considered as a viable source of energy resources during the crunch of the 1970’s, according to a Fayetteville Observer article from May 2000. The coal is not clean enough to have been extracted, particularly citing the tricky geology of the coal beds. As described in the NC Geological Survey ‘fact sheet,’ there are two existing commercial natural gas wells in the area along the Deep River north and west of Sanford, though neither are producing. With knowledge of hydrocarbons trapped in our Triassic Basins, the emergence of fracking in the past several years as a viable technique to economically extract natural gas from such ‘tight’ containment reopened the idea to return to these deposits.

DENR held its first public hearing on the Shale Gas study on October 10, 2011, in Sanford, NC. {The event was recorded and can be viewed/heard via the link on the ‘public input’ section of the Shale Gas Study website.} It was during that meeting that local residents mentioned to the officials from the General Assembly and DENR the history of the coal mine disaster. From being in the audience of that meeting, I can report that the overwhelming feeling in the room was to proceed with extreme caution, with the predominant concern for protecting water quality.

BT

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