ELKO, Nev. (AP) — A state panel has approved regulations guiding oil and gas exploration companies' use of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, in Nevada.
The Commission on Mineral Resources' unanimous decision Thursday in Elko drew criticism from opponents, who say fracking could lead to water contamination, excessive water consumption and earthquake activity.
But supporters say the concerns are exaggerated, and oil and gas development resulting from fracking will provide a boost to Nevada's economy.
The 2013 Legislature passed legislation requiring adoption of fracking regulations by January 2015.
Noble Energy Inc., which is searching for oil in northeastern Nevada, calls the regulations "tough but workable."
But Bob Fulkerson of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada says the governor-appointed commission was stacked with people with ties to "extractive industries" such as oil and mining.