Fracking and property rights won't be easily resolved
RALEIGH -- Despite the political rhetoric and public angst, it is far from certain that there will ever be a thriving natural gas drilling industry in North Carolina.
Yes, state legislators last year created a legal path for hydraulic fracture, or fracking, to begin in the state within a few years. They formed a commission to establish regulations for the industry. They stand poised, within the next couple of years, to give more green lights to the industry.
Still, unless the economics are right, the relatively small shale formations running through Piedmont counties that hold natural gas may never lead to substantial drilling. As the energy landscape in this country and the world continues changing, the economics may never be right.
Let's assume, though, that five years hence, the ...