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.