State Senator Gene McLaurin, of Rockingham, has filed legislation that would give authority to approve fracking permits in Anson County to the Anson County Board of Commissioners.
In 2011, the state legislature passed the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act to pave the way for natural gas exploration in North Carolina.
After hearing the concerns of residents and local elected leaders in Anson County, Senator McLaurin filed a proposed committee substitute this week that would require the approval of Anson County Commissioners before permits allowing hydraulic fracturing could be issued.
“Energy exploration is a vital issue for North Carolina’s future — but we need to make certain that it’s done safely and responsibly, and with support on the local level,” Sen. McLaurin said.
“I’ve heard considerable concern about fracking from elected leaders in Anson County and strongly believe that those leaders should have a say on such a potentially impactful decision for their community. Rather than simply dictating from Raleigh, we need to respect and be accountable to our constituents. My Anson County constituents have strong concerns regarding the impact on their health, the environment, and quality of life,” said McLaurin.
Earlier this month, the Anson County Board of Commissioners approved a five-year moratorium on the process of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — for natural gas.
The commissioners voted on the moratorium after a public hearing on the matter, at which several residents spoke out against fracking. All of those who spoke during the public hearing were in favor of the moratorium, citing health and environmental risks to the county.
McLaurin represents the 25th Senate District which includes the counties of Anson, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland and Stanly.