Commentary

Outer Banks oil and gas drilling: A disaster waiting happen

Looks like those leftist tree huggers at the EPA are at it again. This is from AP:

“The Obama administration floated a plan Tuesday that for the first time would open up a broad swath of the Atlantic Coast to drilling, even as it moved to restrict drilling in environmentally-sensitive areas off Alaska.

The proposal envisions auctioning areas located more than 50 miles off Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia to oil companies come 2021, long after President Barack Obama leaves office. For decades, oil companies have been barred from drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, where a moratorium was in place up until 2008.”

Meanwhile, the good folks at Environment NC have released this excellent statement in response to the Obama administration’s momentary departure from rationality:

“New plan puts North Carolina in the cross-hairs for offshore oil drilling and exploration

Raleigh, NC- Today, Secretary Sally Jewel and the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) released the five-year draft plan for offshore oil drilling, and North Carolina is front and center.

‘From Kitty Hawk to Cape Hatteras, the Outer Banks are one of North Carolina’s shining gems,’ said Dave Rogers, Environment North Carolina state director. ‘We’re putting our natural heritage at risk if we allow offshore drilling off our coasts.’

Accidents and spills are among the chief concerns of expanding drilling into new areas, especially off of North Carolina’s coast. Five years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf communities are still feeling the effects, especially the booming fishing industry which still has yet to bounce back after the spill….

Now that the draft plan is released, BOEM will accept input from citizens during the public comment period for both the leasing plan and the Environmental Impact Study.”

A Sierra Club spokesperson added:

“As the administration moves to finalize this draft proposal, we hope they’ll recognize that North Carolina’s energy future should be focused on tapping our region’s large offshore wind potential. Choosing clean energy will benefit economies up and down the Atlantic coast and will benefit the environment. Offshore drilling can have adverse onshore impacts for coastal communities, including the risk of oil spills and the industrialization of our coast.

Drilling for fossil fuels off the North Carolina coast would contribute to the carbon emissions which are driving climate change. We owe it to our communities to invest in clean energy solutions.”

Let’s fervently hope that the whole plan is permanently trashed before our already incredibly fragile and endangered coastline meets a similar fate.

6 Comments


  1. Brother Doc

    January 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    This is so insane. for centuries the waters off the Outer Banks have been called the Graveyard of the Atlantic, for good reason. The area gets a lot of storms! And call it climate change, call it global warming, whatever, more catastrophic weather patterns are forecasted over the next several decades. The devastation that can be inflicted by oil spills to the coast and the ocean is too horrible to contemplate. Wind farms would be a far wiser investment.

  2. LayintheSmakDown

    January 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Who would have thought BHO would actually sign on to this. Finally something good from that guy. Let the envirowhacko heads start spinning!!!

  3. Gene Scarborough

    January 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    It was my understanding that Burr and Tillis put an amendment to this effect on the XL Pipeline Bill before Congress.

    Are you sure this proposal is not theirs??? It does not sound like an Obama kind of proposal. He is not the one getting Koch Oil help with his election 2 years ago. Bob Etheridge addressed this question last night in New Bern and is now a Federal Environmental person for NC.

    If such came from the Executive Branch, he certainly would have know it and admitted to it. His take is we need a ton of information and education on this by all NC citizens. I don’t think any rational person would want to risk our shores when we could spend less money developing alternate sources of energy to oil.

  4. COROLLA OBX LOCAL

    January 27, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Why this is a really BAD idea. For one, we get blasted with Nor’easters all winter long. Do you hear about them on the news? Hardly ever. But it happens every year, and it causes more damage oftentimes than Hurricanes. Which are about the same. And the worst ones are when they combine, such as the case of Nor’Ida in 2008. That was a 2 week long Nor’easter & Hurricane Combined. And it sucked. Roads were overwashed, flooding allover, beach and dune erosion, oceanfront lots lost most of their staircases, pools and bottom floor of their homes. What would that do to a rig? Storms that last for more than a couple of days? There’s a reason why the Outer Banks is called the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Ask Blackbeard, he died here.

    The Outer Banks from Corolla down to Ocracoke have more locally owned businesses than any other part of the state because of tourism. It provides almost all of the jobs and without them over 57,000+(2009 census) people would not have a reason to live and work here. We are the people who saw a dream and went after them. We are the small business owners, the community that supports one another, the keepers of our pristine shoreline. If Oil Exploration comes to our area, we are at risk of losing all of this. Oil spills cannot be reversed, and our oceans are already polluted enough. And the odds are not in our favor. Look at the Gulf, the recent spill in Yosemite Valley, and all the ongoing spills happening that are unreported. (Yes, once it leaks, it can keep leaking.) Check our the nearly decade long spill here: http://ecowatch.com/2013/06/04/oil-spill-gulf-mexico-spilling-after-nearly-decade/

    If that’s not enough, let’s check some facts. How much money does the Outer Banks actually bring to the state? In 2011, just in Dare Co (Not including Currituck), tourism brought $877 MILLION dollars into the local economy and 11,260 Jobs. Source: http://www.outerbanks.org/media/902629/obvb_tourism_mailer.pdf

    The facts are present. Will people actually see them? Or will they go by hearsay or the master persuasion on the promise of dollars from the Oil tycoons. Who knows. I hope in either case, they at least know the facts. So that when a spill does occur, they know the ultimate cost of what they have done.

  5. Gene Hoglan

    January 27, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Don’t be so glum. It’ll mostly be Republicans whose property values will be destroyed when the offshore derricks start sprouting up.

  6. NC Man

    January 28, 2015 at 7:03 am

    IN North Carolina proponents OF oil and gas development have gone out of their way to appease the people of North Carolina, environmentalist etc. Oil & gas developers already have to secure a 1 million bond & the state has a severance tax in place. The drilling rules and regulations reflect this effort. At some point we just need to move forward. There will be a very positive economic impact, this is a fact.

    Once oil and gas development kicks-off, all the posturing will end. Do you really think NC business owners are going to complain when their coffee shops, motels, and businesses in general, start making more profit than ever because the oil and gas companies/crews are spending money in their towns. I am sure most will be happy. Instead of driving oil and gas developers away by making it too expensive and difficult because of over-regulation; let’s get them in here spending their money with our business owners.

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