- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Some North Carolina lawmakers want to give a state panel three more months to finalize regulations for energy exploration like fracking before the rules reach the legislature next year for final review.

A study committee recommended on Thursday a bill to extend the deadline for the panel developing oil and natural gas rules from Oct. 1 to Jan. 1. The measure also would streamline the process once rules are settled before they can be implemented. Lawmakers have the chance to reject those rules.

The draft legislation getting filed when the General Assembly convenes this month also would make clear state regulators would retain trade secrets of fracking companies about chemicals they inject into the ground while drilling. The ingredients could be released to first responders during an emergency.

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