- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A key committee in the North Carolina House has advanced a bill that would lift the state’s moratorium on fracking for natural gas.

The House Public Utilities and Energy Committee passed the Republican-backed measure Tuesday with several Democrats in the minority voting no. The bill was amended to remove a provision directing the first drilling permits be issued in July 2015, replacing it with language allowing permits to be issued 60 days after the final regulations for the industry are approved.

Fracking is used by the energy industry to extract oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals.

The bill was approved by the state Senate last week. The legislation’s next stop is the House Finance Committee.

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