A bill restricting what the public could know about the chemicals that energy companies use to extract natural gas in North Carolina has received initial Senate approval.
The chamber voted 35-11 on Tuesday in favor of the bill that allows companies to withhold the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing if they're considered confidential or a trade secret.
The state Energy & Mining Commission would develop rules for public access to an online registry to see what family of chemicals would be used. The commission is currently creating those rules before fracking can begin in the state.
A final Senate vote on the bill is expected Wednesday. It still has to go back to the House before it can be sent to the governor.