Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell confirmed the reversal this morning on Twitter as news of the decision was just beginning to filter out:
Environmental groups spent months voicing opposition to the proposed drilling plan, raising concerns about the threat posed to marine ecosystems and areas that rely on tourism.
Readers may recall that in January the Kure Beach Town Council became the 100th municipality to pass a resolution formally opposing offshore drilling.
Hundreds of small business owners also wrote to the President urging his administration to remove the Atlantic from the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
Offshore drilling is incompatible with our tourism and fishing industries. When you drill, you spill, and day to day drilling operations result in chronic pollution and the industrialization of the coast for oil facilities.
Governor Pat McCrory had supported offshore drilling, at one time telling a congressional panel the federal government’s 50-mile imposed buffer zone was too great and would “unnecessarily puts much of North Carolina’s most accessible undiscovered resources under lock and key.”
We’ll have more reaction to the decision throughout the day on the Progressive Pulse.