Hundreds of Atlantic coast business owners — including scores from North Carolina — delivered a letter to President Obama yesterday that pleads with him to reverse his earlier decision to give initial approval to offshore oil and gas exploration. As reported by Katie Valentine of Think Progress:
“For coastal companies that depend on a healthy stream of tourists to keep business healthy, the prospect of drilling in the Atlantic Ocean means one thing: spills that will sully beaches and drive visitors away.
More than 300 Atlantic coast businesses sent a letter to President Obama Thursday, urging him to take back his administration’s proposal to allow drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. In January, the Obama administration announced a proposal to sell oil and gas leases in offshore sites from Virginia to Georgia. Currently, there is no offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, though drilling does occur in the Gulf of Mexico.
In the letter, the businesses outline the economic risk posed by offshore drilling, saying that monetary losses due to lost tourism revenue could be ‘devastating.’ They also note that the Energy Information Administration estimates that the Atlantic Ocean holds only about 209 days’ worth of oil and 13 months’ worth of natural gas.”
Not surprisingly, North Carolina had more signatories on the letter than any of the other 11 states represented. North Carolina is at the epicenter of the offshore drilling debate with Governor McCrory pushing to drill even closer to the coast than federal officials have discussed.
As Sierra Weaver of the Southern Environmental Law Center explained at an N.C. Policy Watch luncheon earlier this year, the battle over offshore drilling still has a long way to go.
To learn more about the enormous threat that drilling would pose to North Carolina, visit the N.C. Coastal Federation by clicking here.