Commentary

Editorials agree: Trump’s offshore drilling scheme dreadful for NC

The outcry bubbling up across our state against the Trump administration’s terrible plan to bring offshore oil drilling to our coast was evident in at least four new editorials from major newspapers in recent days.

The Winston-Salem Journal puts it this way this morning:

“This is not a chance to be taken with our pristine North Carolina coast.

This is not a partisan issue, nor should it be. Republican governors Larry Hogan of Maryland, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Rick Scott of Florida strongly oppose drilling off their states’ coasts, the [Washington] Post reported. They’re joined by nearly a dozen attorneys general, more than 100 U.S. lawmakers and the Defense Department, the Post reported.

It doesn’t engender confidence that in April President Trump tried to ease safety measures for offshore drilling put in place by the Obama administration. Nor does it help that, two weeks ago, the Interior Department suspended a study conducted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine on the safety of offshore oil and gas drilling platforms, as the Post reported….

Tourism along our North Carolina beaches and coastal cities draws in about $3 billion a year, generates jobs and supports local economies. The environment should be kept as pristine as possible for the enjoyment of future generations. The Trump administration must abandon this wrong-headed plan.”

And here’s this morning’s Fayetteville Observer:

“In a time of oil and gas gluts, we aren’t really ‘dependent’ on foreign oil. We can easily take care of ourselves. But the energy market is a global one, as are the American energy companies. Oil and gas flow around the world through sophisticated market systems that don’t stop at anyone’s borders.

And when administration officials insist that the additional drilling can be done safely and with no environmental damage — even as they’re aggressively removing safety regulations and studies that document the level of danger in offshore drilling — we get a pretty transparent picture of what the administration is really saying. This is another move to give industry exactly what it wants and ignore the consequences to the people who live along our coasts.

We expect that there will be a raft of lawsuits filed against the deregulation actions as well as the expanded drilling plan. There should be. What the administration is doing is irresponsible, unnecessary and dangerous. It should be stopped.”

And the Wilmington Star News put it this way ion Saturday:

“Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis recently listened to concerns about toxic chemicals in our rivers, lakes and groundwater, and helped stop a very bad nominee to the EPA. Let’s hope they will listen again to the people of coastal North Carolina who don’t want to risk having their environment and economy devastated.

The proposal is still in the planning stages, and President Trump has been known to change his mind. So if you don’t want to risk having oil-soaked shorebirds, closed beaches and a crippled tourism industry, the time to sound off is now.

This is not rocket science — the need and payoff simply are not enough to justify the risk.”

And here’s Raleigh’s News & Observer:

“Kudos to Gov. Roy Cooper, who has dared to object: ‘Offshore drilling represents a critical threat to our coastal economy. Protecting North Carolina families and businesses is my top priority, and we will pursue every option to prevent oil drilling near North Carolina’s beaches, coastal communities and fishing waters.’

That’s good, because one big oil spill and the future of North Carolina’s coastal economy could be forever in jeopardy, to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars.”

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