Winston-Salem Event Will Discuss Potential Impacts of Natural Gas Drilling
North Carolina Lawmakers continue to debate proposed fracking legislation. A panel discussion Thursday night in Winston-Salem will take a closer look at the issues surrounding this natural gas drilling method.
The Foothills Group of the Sierra Club has invited a panel of experts and community members to talk about the issues surrounding a natural gas drilling technique called hydrofracking. The process uses extreme pressure and a solution of water, sand and chemicals to crack shale formations and extract gas deposits underground.
Linda McCorkindale, one of the event organizers, says the forum will include a question and answer session with guest speakers.
“Elaine Chiosso is a Haw River keeper. She will give an overview of fracking and the effect on the environment, water and air. We have two citizens from Stokes County who are working locally and state-wide and are founders of a group called No Fracking in Stokes,” says McCorkindale.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, North Carolina is believed to have between 779 billion and 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. There are 12 counties that could potentially be affected by fracking in the state, including: Stokes, Rockingham, Davie and Yadkin Counties.
Last year, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources said fracking could be done safely with the right safeguards in place. But the agency cautioned that the state’s geology is not suitable for re-injecting tainted water.
McCorkindale says the forum is also an educational opportunity for participants to learn more about proposed fracking legislation in the Tar Heel state.
“What we are trying to do is slow it down. We want them to take a little more time to look at how the extraction is done and we want them to take more time to explain to someone what would happen if they sign away their mineral rights. We also want them to have some accountability for what will happen to the land when drilling is essentially done in that area,” says McCorkindale.
The panel discussion “Hydrofracking Issues and Answers” will begin with a reception at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 at Single Brothers Workshop in Old Salem. The guest speakers will begin their presentations at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.