Remember the news, a couple of days ago, that Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas will partner on a new natural gas pipeline into Eastern North Carolina?
The Energy Information Administration published a chart today that illustrates the rich shale-gas reserves the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would tap. Pay special attention to the vast Marcellus basin in green. Gas would also come from the much smaller Utica shale, in red.
Hydraulic fracturing -- fracking -- and horizontal drilling explain the explosion in production from shale reserves. The controversial drilling techniques also raise questions about the potential for groundwater contamination, overuse of water supplies, wastewater disposal and the impact of fracking chemicals.
While the pipeline would deliver gas from several states away, the fracking debate is upon us too. Hearings began last month on North Carolina's version of fracking rules, and legislators decided that permits could be issued next spring.