McCrory: NC can no longer sit on the sidelines of energy exploration

Three days before taking the oath of office, Governor-elect Pat McCrory told bankers and other business leaders that he will use his first term to reform the state’s tax code, improve education, and expand energy exploration.

McCrory said his administration will immediately take action to form coalitions with Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia and negotiate with the federal government on offshore natural gas and oil drilling:

“We think we have a responsibility to do it, and we oughta contribute to the energy independence of our country, and North Carolina should no longer stand on the sidelines,” said McCrory.

McCrory said the state would also move as quick as possible looking at inland gas exploration.

The governor-elect did not mention the role of renewables or green energy in his brief remarks before the North Carolina Bankers Association.

Over the holidays Rep. Mike Hager, the House’s new Republican majority whip, pledged to freeze legislation that mandates utilities derive an increasing amount of their power through the sale of solar, wind or biomass.

In 2007, North Carolina became the first state in the Southeast to adopt a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. Lawmakers could revisit that landmark piece of legislation in the upcoming legislative session.

To hear McCrory’s remarks on energy exploration in the New Year, click below. To hear his full speech, visit WRAL.com, which streamed Tuesday’s forum:

YouTube Preview Image

3 Comments

  1. Frank Burns

    January 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    If renewable forms of energy have costs to the public over and above non renewables, then there should be no role for them in NC.

  2. Gene Hoglan

    January 3, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Keep on dreamin’ Pat. It’ll be years after you’re out of office before they even begin looking at offshore oil or gas and a decade after that before any of it got to market, and that’s assuming the price of natural gas isn’t still in the basement due to overproduction as it is currently.

  3. Chris Patrick

    January 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t understand this either/or approach to our energy needs— if renewable sources can supplement our usage, then it is foolish not to utilize them. It is also foolish to allow other nations to make technological progress in green energy because of claims of cost when we’ve subsidized oil for nearly a century. Not only that, but off-shore drilling and fracking are examples that prove Churchill’s very old criticism of us— “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing…after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”