DURHAM, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says the state is poised to carry out a more diverse energy production strategy with the advent of natural gas exploration and more renewable sources thanks to legislation.

The governor talked to a North Carolina Chamber audience Wednesday in Durham on energy issues. McCrory says he expects the first permits to explore for natural gas through fracking being issued in 2015. Regulations still must be completed and approved by the legislature. He says North Carolina has been on the sidelines in this energy field for too long.

The governor also praised a law passed in 2013 laying out the regulatory framework for wind energy projects.

McCrory says the federal government is still dragging its feet on allowing energy exploration off the Atlantic coast.