In a summary of local happenings as reported in the Fayetteville Observer, a county official in Pennsylvania has invited county officials from Lee County to visit in order to observe firsthand the impacts of hydraulic fracturing.
Lee County commissioners are going to look firsthand at natural gas drilling operations in Pennsylvania.
Commissioner Jim Womack said a county official from Pennsylvania had invited Lee County officials. He said the commissioners will travel at their own expense in late March or early April.
Scientists believe prehistoric rock formations beneath Lee and surrounding counties contain large deposits of natural gas.
A controversial method of drilling for natural gas called fracking is illegal in North Carolina, but a state agency is studying the issue.
Fracking, which is short for hydraulic fracturing, is a form of horizontal drilling that uses chemicals and water to fracture the rock and release the gas. Some worry about its impact on the environment. Others say it could be an economic boost to the area.
I will be very curious to hear what locality Lee County officials will visit. It is encouraging to see they are traveling at their own expense and will be hosted by fellow county officials in Pennsylvania. This could be very influential to how local governance will deal with natural gas extraction, and the associated planning necessary for physical and social infrastructure to support the community. Stay tuned.