Wilmingtonbiz logo
Print
Maritime

Offshore Energy Debate Renews

By Ryan Haar, posted Jun 16, 2017
The waters off North Carolina are back into play for potential offshore oil and natural gas drilling.

For some local opponents of offshore drilling, the issue’s return was not welcome news.

“This time, however, people are angry. They knew their president and Congressmen were listening and supporting them. Now, to have all those efforts destroyed is causing many of us to become discouraged with government, but we can’t do that.

We have to believe our voices mean something. We can’t give up,” Kure Beach Mayor Emilie Swearingen said.
 

Last Time Around

Here are local governments that weighed in when offshore exploration and drilling last came up:

Holly Ridge, opposed to offshore natural gas/oil exploration and offshore drilling (Aug. 11, 2015)

SURF CITY, opposed exploration and drilling (Aug. 4, 2015)

WILMINGTON, opposed seismic testing and drilling (July 21, 2015)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, support of seismic surveys (July 6, 2015) Commissioners reconsidered on Aug. 17 whether to take a more neutral stance, but since that move tied 2-2, the earlier resolution of support remained in place

SUNSET BEACH, opposed seismic (June 30, 2014)

ST. JAMES, concerned over seismic (May 6, 2014)

OAK ISLAND, concerned over seismic (Apr. 29, 2014)

TOPSAIL BEACH, opposed seismic (Apr. 23, 2014)

CASWELL BEACH, concerned over seismic (March 31, 2014)

CAROLINA BEACH, opposed seismic (Feb. 28, 2014)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, opposed oil or gas drilling (Sept. 9, 2010)
 
The potential of natural gas and oil deposits off the coast of the Eastern Seaboard motivated the Trump administration to make the area available for seismic testing under the “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” executive order signed in April.

The East Coast was last brought into the question of oil exploration under the Obama administration. In response to that proposal, 32 North Carolina local governments passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling and exploration.

But last year the Obama administration removed miles of water off the Eastern Coast from potential oil exploration and exploitation.

This time around, all previous resolutions approved by local and state governments will automatically be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service so it’s not necessary for local governments to redo resolutions, Swearingen said.

Not all are opposed to the new plan.

The N.C. Petroleum Council endorsed Trump’s plan, saying that the continental shelf off the North Carolina coast is estimated to hold 2.4 billion barrels of oil and 24.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

“Our state is uniquely positioned to add jobs and bring in local revenue through energy development, which can safely coexist with our current tourism and fishing industries while providing much needed diversity for our local economies,” N.C. Petroleum Council Executive Director David McGowan said in a statement about the executive order.

State Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover, said constituents she has heard from are opposed to any measure that moves North Carolina closer to offshore drilling. Butler said she is concerned about environmental impacts and the disruption or reduction of the tourism economy.

“In my opinion, the North Carolina coast is an asset and a resource that cannot be replaced, nor should it be jeopardized in any manner,” Butler said.

The reality of offshore drilling, however, will most likely not be realized for many years, said Steve Yost, president of North Carolina’s Southeast, a regional economic development partnership.

“Exploration and research alone would take at least several years,” Yost said. “After that, if it’s deemed economically feasible, it’d take considerable time for companies to ramp up and make the significant investment to actually do it.”

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT

Book On Business

Bob2017

The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$24.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

Select Bank Expands Footprint In Area

Building on its success in Leland, Select Bancorp Inc. has announced that it will expand its presence of its subsidiary, Select Bank & Trust, to Wilmington this fall.

NHRMC Proposes Fourth CT Scanner

The N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation recently gave conditional approval for New Hanover Regional Medical Center to acquire an addi...

Boomers Not Going Quietly Into Retirement

Peggy O’Leary is one of a growing cohort of individuals over the traditional retirement age of 65 who want to remain professionally engaged....

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

Gov. Cooper Vetos Bill That Includes Funding On GenX

Christina Haley O'Neal - About 12 hours ago

UNCW Professor Awarded $1.5M Grant To Research Future Of Coastal Communities

Cece Nunn - About 13 hours ago

Cape Fear Serpentarium Reopens After Repairs

Christina Haley O'Neal - Sep 20, 2017

Il Forno Pizzeria Now Open At The Pointe At Barclay

Jessica Maurer - Sep 20, 2017 Trending News
Services

Gierie Orthodontics

At Gierie Orthodontics our passion is creating beautiful smiles. Dr. Bill Gierie is committed to maximizing your aesthetic potential through enhancing the appearance of the teeth and face. We strive t ...more

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Power Breakfast: Coach C.B. McGrath - June 2017
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2016

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!


There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:



Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad