published Friday, March 15th, 2013

UT gets OK for fracking in Cumberland Mountains

  • photo
    Protesters gather Friday on the plaza across from the state Capitol in Nashville to speak out against a University of Tennessee plan to allow hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas on a state-owned tract of rolling woodland.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee can go forward with fracking for natural gas on 8,636 acres it owns in the Cumberland Forest.

The Tennessee Building Commission today unanimously approved UT’s request to research hydraulic fracturing, a method of injecting high-pressure nitrogen gas or water into shale rock to cause trapped gas to be released through fractures made in the bedrock.

State Finance Commissioner Mark Emkes, who sits on the executive subcommittee of the building commission, made a motion to approve the request after hearing three hours of comments from the university and 25 other private speakers for and against the proposal.

Emkes said he supported the move because no other meaningful research was being conducted in the area.

For more, see Saturday’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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