Cross-posted from the NC Conservation Network blog 
Was anyone else bitterly disappointed this morning after reading the News & Observer's headline that "Democrats cry uncle on drilling ?" From the article:
"Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts — including North Carolina's shoreline — to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4-a-gallon gasoline prices this summer."
Basically, now we have both parties of Congress supporting offshore drilling which, as laid out in our action alert , would do the following:
jeopardize NC's fishing industry;
threaten the rare coral wilderness off NC's coast; and
permanently change the face of coastal communities.
At the same time, offshore drilling would not lead to significant (or timely) oil production. [For a recent Op-Ed on this issue written by a state legislator, see http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=305388 .]
From a recent poll  conducted by Elon University:
"The poll also found that most people expect the drilling to affect gas prices in the near future. About 14 percent expected that permitting drilling would lower prices immediately or within one year. Another 53 percent expected gas price relief in one to 10 years.
The federal government disagrees. A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration last year found that new exploration in the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico would produce an extra 200,000 barrels of oil a day by 2030. But U.S. oil consumption is currently 100 times higher than that. Since oil prices are determined on a worldwide market, the new oil would not affect oil prices, the EIA said." [emphasis mine]
So why, oh WHY do more than two-thirds of North Carolinians support offshore drilling?