Burr, Tillis push offshore drilling

Posted January 22, 2015

— North Carolina's two U.S. senators don't just want access to Canadian oil, they want to drill off the state's coast.

Republican Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis on Thursday filed a proposal to require the government to set up procedures by 2017 for leasing, exploring and developing offshore oil and natural gas resources in the Atlantic Ocean off the U.S. coast from Delaware to Florida. The proposal was in an amendment to legislation that would allow the Keystone XL pipeline to run down the middle of the U.S. from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

A recent study by Quest Offshore Resources found that offshore energy exploration and development could support more than 55,000 jobs in North Carolina and generate nearly $4 billion in state government revenue from 2017 to 2035, the senators said.

Under the proposal, states would receive 37.5 percent of all revenue collected from oil exploration, including leasing bids, rents and royalties. Another 12.5 percent of the revenue would be directed to the Land & Water Conservation Fund. The legislation prohibits any oil or gas lease within 30 miles of the nearest coastline and requires that exploration be conducted in a way that considers the impact on marine, coastal and human environments.

"Families across America are too familiar with the impact energy prices play on our day-to-day lives," Tillis said in his first statement on the Senate floor. "When utility bills and gas prices increase, hard-working Americans face hardship and struggle to make ends meet. We need to make that easier and lift the burden off those hard-working taxpayers."

Gov. Pat McCrory, who has been pushing for expanded offshore energy production, praised the amendment.

"Responsibly exploring oil and gas reserves off our coast has the potential to make North Carolina a leader in energy, move America closer to energy independence and create jobs," McCrory said in a statement.


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  • rushbot Jan 27, 2015

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    the oil is pumped via pipeline to coastal refineries...and they are incredibly nasty..

  • SanS Jan 27, 2015

    As for the oil exploration, I'm not totally against it however oil rigs on our coastline should concern anyone. Murphy's law states - what can go wrong, will go wrong.....we have beautiful beaches and great seafood and the after effect would be devastating for quite some time after the clean up. I think it would be wise to consider our kids future rather than trying to get the price of oil and gas down for today. Those who think drilling for oil will create all these new jobs and make money for NC don't understand how it works, the oil companies hire their own people, and if far enough out in international waters NC might not see a dime. Hopefully these would be the first non leaking perfectly built oil rigs in the world, but I doubt it. Just saying when you go on summer vacation where do you usually go and do you really want to lose that, because at some point you will.

  • rushbot Jan 26, 2015

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    we already export oil.

  • miseem Jan 26, 2015

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    And the only way they can imagine the US will be less reliant on middle east oil is to drill, drill, drill. Increasing reliance on other energy sources is not on their radar. Notice I did not say eliminating fossil fuels. Therefore, we will always be dependent on some other country for at least a significant chunk of our energy needs. And in a couple of years or less, we will be back to $4.00 a gallon or higher gas. In fact, it would still be there if Saudi Arabia cut production and the world economy were not slowing down.

  • recontwice Jan 26, 2015

    Sure didnt take tillis long to get in on the oil industry payola!!

  • dennis8 Jan 26, 2015

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    Because it is not fossil fuel and they are GOP.

  • rushbot Jan 26, 2015

    why don't bur and thillis instead push for offshore wind farms and underwater ocean energy turbines instead of setting north carolina up for coastal oil refineries and the horrors they will bring to our coast...and why do we need canadian oil...answer..we don't...

  • Tim Wallace Jan 26, 2015
    user avatar

    That ship has sailed. Now that the price of oil and gas have dropped, it no longer makes economic sense to drill. NC missed the boat on this round. Maybe in another 20 years the price point will be high enough to justify the cost of off-shore wells.

  • angryingram Jan 26, 2015

    Good! Thank God NC finally has a team of Republicans so we can finally get some things done instead of a waste of NC Senator rubber stamping everything Obama sends down the line.

  • Just Ice Jan 26, 2015

    Well, speaking of offshore drilling...

    BREAKING, EXCLUSIVE: DC Sources: “Rep. Kevin McCarthy & Rep. Renee Ellmers Are Having An Affair”

    January 23, 2015 by Charles C. Johnson

    "Multiple sources within Bakersfield, North Carolina, & on Capitol Hill tell that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) have been carrying on a long-running affair since 2011."