Court reinstates fracking moratorium in North Carolina

In response to an SELC request for a preliminary injunction, Wake County Superior Court has effectively reinstated a moratorium on fracking (shown here in Canada) in North Carolina.

Wake County Superior Court has granted a preliminary injunction sought by SELC to stop the state’s Mining and Energy Commission from accepting or processing permit applications for fracking in the state or from creating any drilling units. The decision effectively reinstates a moratorium on fracking pending the outcome of a constitutional challenge to the composition of the Commission itself.

In 2012 the North Carolina General Assembly not only established the MEC, it went on to give itself the majority of appointments. The Commission subsequently instituted a set of inadequate regulations in its attempt to fast track hydraulic fracturing—fracking—despite widespread concerns among citizens.

By giving itself control of an executive branch body, however—eight members to the governor’s five—the legislature violated the separation of powers doctrine firmly established in the state constitution. SELC argued that because an unconstitutional commission created the fracking rules, they are therefore null and void.

In fact, the General Assembly has used the same approach to control not only the MEC, but the Oil and Gas Commission, North Carolina Mining Commission, and the Coal Ash Commission. In November 2013, current Governor Pat McCrory joined former Governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin in a lawsuit to challenge the practice.

Read the press release here.

More News

SELC shares Georgians’ concerns about proposed titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp

This week, back-to-back public meetings in southeast Georgia drew large crowds from all over the state with concerns about a proposed titanium mi...

Moving N.C. toward clean energy a necessary step to combat climate change

SELC issued the following statement regarding today’s release of a draft clean energy plan by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Qual...

Going Above & Beyond to Protect Our Coast

Spending time in the special places that inspire you is key to living a meaningful life. And in Senior Attorney Sierra Weaver’s nearly two decade...

SELC condemns administration plan to dismantle Endangered Species Act

SELC came out strongly against changes to implementation of the U.S. Endangered Species Act put forth this week by the Trump administration. “Th...

New study: Burning wood from ‘sustainably managed’ forests increases carbon pollution for 40+ years

A new analysis by experts in carbon lifecycle modeling reveals that cutting down trees from sustainably managed forests—a practice many in the in...

Court confirms state’s authority to require Duke Energy coal ash clean-up

After the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality ordered Duke Energy to excavate six of its coal ash sites this spring, the utility c...

More Stories