North Carolina says "Yes!" to fracking

Thanks to the political obfuscation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state of New York is still stubbornly refusing to get on board with the shale oil-and-gas revolution despite its prime positioning on top of the Marcellus/Utica shale formations it shares with Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Too bad for New York, ’cause the state is missing out on a piece of the job- and wealth-creating action that has helped to keep our otherwise meandering economy afloat because of a few radically overblown but completely manageable environmental(ist) concerns. Other states, like North Carolina, are quickly getting over their erstwhile reluctance:

North Carolina’s governor signed a law on Wednesday that will lift a longtime state ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, allowing shale gas exploration to begin as early as next year.

The Republican-led state legislature moved quickly last week to fast-track permits for fracking, in which rock formations are cracked and infused with chemical-laced water to extract natural gas. …

“We have watched and waited as other states moved forward with energy exploration, and it is finally our turn,” said Republican Governor Pat McCrory. “This legislation will spur economic development at all levels of our economy, not just the energy sector.” …

A 2012 North Carolina law cleared the way for fracking to begin, but called for a separate vote after rules were drafted to protect the environment. The new law allows permits to be issued without further legislative action two months after state regulations are completed, likely early next year.

Good thing, too — North Carolina may not have quite the underground riches of, say, Texas or North Dakota, but you never know until you try. In the meantime, fellow Southern states Louisiana and Mississippi have been prepping to take advantage of their own shale reserves and take part in the production boom that has so rapidly transformed America’s energy outlook in a matter of just a few years.