There's no doubt in my mind that irresponsible and uncontrolled oil and gas exploration has done and can do great damage to the environment. At the same time, our nation needs hydrocarbon energy to fuel it's needs...certainly for some years to come until renewable energy sources are more economically feasible and widely available.
Horizontal drilling into shale beds and the subsequent fracturing of these deposits to release the oil and gas is a relatively new development and has the potential to generate enough hydrocarbon energy forms to significantly alleviate the annual outflow of billions of dollars to the OPEC nations that use those dollars to buy stuff to kill us with and to buy influence and take over our industry and farm lands.
The problem specifically in North Carolina seems to be that the DENR has little experience in permitting, monitoring and controlling such operations. This is new territory for them and, in my opinion, they need to go visit some places in the southwest...like Oklahoma and Texas...where this kind of activity has been underway for more than a century and where people are also very concerned about polluting water supplies. After all, water is scarce in those regions. NC legislators and appointed officials could learn a great deal and come away with a framework of laws and procedures to both expedite and properly manage the oil and gas resources in NC ...while protecting the environment.
I can't speak to how Pennsylvania manages this business (re the fracking video today) but the guy in the video needs to contact the appropriate controlling entities and report any problems he has. I do suspect Pennsylvania has a whole lot of restrictions on drilling, well spacing, proximity to lease boundaries, run-off, waste disposal, proximity to ground and other water resources and so on. Oklahoma certainly does...and they are rigorously enforced.
if the NCDENR can't get legislative help to stop Titan Cement and it's millions of lbs of pollutants, and intrusion into our water aquifer, we're pretty much SOL anyhow. It's the politicians...not the good and knowledgable people of this department...that are bringing this to us. Follow the money. Bet on it.