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North Carolina Governor Signs Hydraulic Fracturing Bill

On June 4, 2014, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the Energy Modernization Act, which lifts a 2012 moratorium that blocked the issuance of oil and gas drilling permits in the state.  In addition to allowing for the permitting of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the law also prevents local governments from prohibiting oil and gas exploration, development and production activities and criminalizes the unauthorized disclosure of chemical trade secrets, including the chemicals which are used in the hydraulic fracturing process.  As a result of this new law, hydraulic fracturing is expected to begin in North Carolina as early as next year.