Dominion plans to expand use of new technology on pipelines and wells, like this Zero Emissions Vacuum and Compression system.
Dominion Energy

Methane that leaks from natural gas wells and pipelines or is vented during pipeline testing contributes to destruction of the ozone layer.  Dominion Energy of Virginia says it will cut methane emissions from its natural gas system by about 25 percent over the next decade to help fight climate change.

Map shows the route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The builders of the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline say they will appeal a federal court ruling Thursday that invalidated a permit allowing the pipeline to be built through two national forests and across the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cannot be built across national forest land and the Appalachian Trail.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Updated at 8:55 p.m.
A federal appeals court in Virginia has ruled that the $7 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline cannot be built across national forest land and the Appalachian Trail in west central Virginia.

Despite Drilling, Fracking Far From Imminent In NC

Jun 12, 2015

News that state environment officials were drilling near the Dan River last week to look for oil and gas caused a stir. One headline read: “North Carolina Wants To Frack In Small Town Already Struggling With Coal Ash.”

Police are looking for the drivers of two cars who may have been in the area of a hit and run accident that fatally injured a 26-year-old man early Friday near downtown Charlotte.

Another driver called 911 around 3:15am after seeing a body in the road as she got off inbound Independence Boulevard onto Charlottetowne Avenue.  Police found the Hispanic man with a severe head injury and said it appeared he had been hit by a car. 

UPDATE: On Saturday afternoon, police announced the man had died of his injuries at 10:17am. He was identified as Roque Cortes Salinas.  

Duke Energy Mulling Fracking Investment

Dec 4, 2014
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is exploring the option of entering the fracking business. While the company says it has not made any decisions, it would mark a departure from Duke’s usual operations.

Fracking Clears Penultimate Hurdle In North Carolina

Nov 14, 2014
Jeff Foster / Flickr

North Carolina is now one step away from legalizing fracking. A state commission has spent the past two years writing a broad set of rules to cover how fracking will work in the state. The commission passed those rules Friday evening. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Duncan McFadyen to discuss.

Rules For Fracking In NC Up For Vote

Nov 13, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

The controversial oil and gas extraction process known as fracking could take its second-to-last step toward legalization in North Carolina on Friday. A state body meets at 9 a.m. to finalize the rules that will govern fracking.

Fracking Part 2

Sep 5, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Monday, September 8, 2014

We recently devoted an hour to fracking, which just scratched the surface of the topic, and brought out a passionate response from many listeners. As the state considers rules for fracking, we revisit the topic.  State regulators will decide whether or not to allow the practice and on the rules governing it sometime this fall and we will hear from people on both sides of the issue and share many of the comments and questions that came from you during our last show on the topic.

Dominion To Build New Gas Pipeline Into NC

Sep 2, 2014
Energy Information Administration (

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas have chosen a builder and route for a new, major interstate natural gas pipeline to run through North Carolina, only the second such pipeline in the state. The first was built in 1951.

Fracking in NC

Sep 2, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The US is becoming more energy independent. New technological advancements has made this possible, among them fracking, the hydraulic fracturing of rock, releasing trapped oil and gas. Many states already have fracking operations and North Carolina is about to develop rules governing the practice, but red flags are flying over environmental concerns. A look at the pros and cons of fracking. 

The oil and gas extraction technique known as fracking is not yet legal in North Carolina, but a Pennsylvania company is seeking to buy the rights to oil and gas from landowners in Durham County. The state Department of Justice has told it to stop.

NC Fracking Comment Period Begins

Jul 16, 2014

The controversial oil and gas extraction process known as fracking took another step toward legalization in North Carolina Tuesday.

The state formally opened a public comment period, a time when anyone can officially weigh in on the rules that will ultimately govern fracking.

NC Legislature Debating Fracking Bill

May 26, 2014

The North Carolina House this week is expected to take up legislation that would allow the state to issue permits for fracking of oil and gas next year.

Teacher Pay, Coal Ash, Film Incentives On General Assembly Docket

May 14, 2014
Jim Bowen / Flickr

Lawmakers are back in Raleigh today for the start of the General Assembly’s short session. And they’re not letting the short time frame keep them from tackling major changes. Republican leaders are considering more tax cuts, how to boost teacher pay, handle coal ash, whether to continue incentives for film, and much more. WFAE’s Lisa Miller and Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to discuss what to expect. 

A state commission developing rules for fracking in North Carolina is asking for a three-month extension to finish the job. Mining and Energy Commission Chairman Jim Womack says commissioners do not need more time to write the rules, but he expects as many as 10,000 public comments about the controversial issue. He says an extra three months will help.

“That means we can take more time to sift through the thousands of public comments that we’re going to receive and, so we can have a more conscious and deliberate response,” says Womack.

North Carolina officials are preparing to open the state up to fracking, a process for drilling for natural gas. The state is expected to vote on rules to govern companies who want to drill later this year—rules to protect the environment, but also for landowners. The latter will be especially important, after a recent investigative report shows companies in other states have bilked landowners for the gas under their land.


North Carolina is clearing the way for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - the method of drilling that's created a natural gas boom in the United States. State lawmakers have tasked the state Mining and Energy Commission with developing rules to govern the process. Earlier this week the commission voted on what's often considered the "first rule" of fracking - it's called chemical disclosure and it determines what drilling companies have to tell the government about the fluids that get pumped into the ground during the process.

John Murawski is the Raleigh News and Observer's energy reporter. He's been following the commission's work, and he joined us by telephone.

wcn247 / flickr

The process known as "fracking" has led to a surge in natural gas production in the U.S. and some in North Carolina want in. Hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting natural gas from deep below the earth's surface is now legal in the state. Another vote is required by the legislature to allow drilling, but permits could be issued as early as 2015. We'll talk with the chairman of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, the group charged with developing rules and regulations for the controversial practice, along with WFAE reporter Ben Bradford to discuss the prospects for a shale gas industry here. We’ll also talk with a Duke University environmental scientist about some of the risks involved, including results of a new study that links hydraulic fracturing to water contamination in Pennsylvania.

North Carolina Utilities Commission

Over the next 15 years, Duke Energy plans to increase how much it relies on renewable energy only modestly—from 1 percent next year to just 2 percent in 2028. The utility is concentrating on natural gas.

This is part of Duke’s annual filing with state regulators, where the utility maps out how it plans to provide energy to North Carolina customers.