RALEIGH (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law a bill that clears the way for permits to be issued for fracking in North Carolina as soon as next spring.
McCrory on Wednesday signed the Energy Modernization Act during an event at North Carolina State University. The measure further refines previous legislation to allow companies to extract oil and gas from the ground by injecting high-pressure mixtures into rock.
The bill lifts a 2012 moratorium that blocked permits. Critics say the bill passed gives lawmakers less time to object to those rules and changes how permits would be issued.
McCrory says it's now North Carolina's turn to move forward with energy exploration. He says the law will spur economic development and create jobs throughout all sectors of the economy.