Local Politics

N.C. delegates debate offshore drilling

Posted August 25, 2008

— Democrats are committed to making their week in Denver the greenest convention ever, pushing delegates to recycle and incorporating alternative sources of energy into events.

The use of wind and natural gas and the thoughts of lower fuel prices raise a question among some of North Carolina's 134 delegates: Should the state be able to explore and drill for oil off the state's coast?

"There is no way in the world that I, as a Democrat, would ever agree to drilling offshore, and I'm hoping I can convey that to all the Democrats in North Carolina," said Charles Johnson, a delegate from Rocky Mount who is attending his sixth convention. "We do not need our coastlines littered with oil droppings."

Ed Booth, who has spent his life near or on the water in Beaufort County, said he's concerned, but he understands the nation's focus on energy.

"I don't have a problem with offshore drilling if they find out it is environmentally safe and it does not hurt the fishing industry, especially in North Carolina," Booth said.

Booth is open to new ideas, as is 2nd District Congressman Bob Etheridge.

"We need a Manhattan Project or a moon-type project, so to speak – it's got to have a 10-year goal – to put the United States back in control of our destiny. We can't be in control of our destiny if the only thing we do is drill," Etheridge said.

The Lillington Democrat said the next administration should expand the focus on biofuel production, noting North Carolina State University scientists already are heavily involved in such research.

"One of the things we have to be careful about (with offshore drilling) is (that) they call the North Carolina coast the 'graveyard of the Atlantic' for a reason," he said.


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  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Aug 28, 2008

    No for drilling.

  • davidgnews Aug 26, 2008

    "Oil rigs in NC waters would boost our state economy in so many ways,..." mep

    I don't know what you're on, but I want to try some of it.

  • nxtlvl4me Aug 26, 2008

    mep, to suggest that oil platforms and their enviable spills are beneficial to the volume of fish is the craziest thing I have heard since your diatribe a week ago about "correct christian values". Your perspective is neither Christian or in the best interest of NC. PLEASE, PLEASE find your way back to texas where you can play around all the oil platforms you want!

  • mep Aug 26, 2008

    Offshore drilling actually ATTRACTS fish. Growing up in Texas, we use to tie our boat off a rig and catch a lot more fish than if we just trolled around. I also like to scuba dive off of oil rigs. Again, lots of fish. There has not been a significant oil spill from a rig in decades. There is also a HUGE number of support jobs associated with offshore rigs. Heck, I am all for NC building a refinery or two. Oil rigs in NC waters would boost our state economy in so many ways, and keep our hard earned dollars away from foriegn oil. The dems just dont like the idea. The want everyone but themselves to ride bikes.

  • dbcooper41 Aug 26, 2008

    again, we export over a million barrel each day. why?

  • duster 340 Aug 26, 2008

    Oil prices rises today as hurricane threatens Gulf???
    People this is our problem we have oil prices going up before a storm is close !!! We need to find away to stop this unfair tradeing.

  • whatusay Aug 26, 2008

    Charles Johnson from Rocky Mount should have to ride a bicycle. No gas for him, he does not need it.
    Mr Etheridge is still living in the 1700's - "The graveyard of the Atlantic." How many ships have gone to the bottom in the last 250 years?

  • dbcooper41 Aug 26, 2008

    before they allow offshore drilling the need to ban oil exports.
    that will free up over 1 million barrel a day, immediatley.

  • davidgnews Aug 26, 2008

    Hurricane Katrina damaged a number of riggs but narry a drop of oil was spilled! colliedave

    You conveniently (as usual) didn't mention the price spikes, shutdowns, and economic side effects, either. Good thinking.

    It's still a scam, and any jobs created will be with YOUR tax money. Furthermore, the oilcos have spent more on buying back their own stock than they have in "exploration."

  • workerbee Aug 26, 2008

    rationality...I agree with alot you've said but I'm a firm believer that if we move away from oil to electrical alternatives, oil will become much cheaper for petrolium based products as world demand goes down. I'm pro-atomic energy and feel we should be putting reseach dollars in that field improving efficiency, fuel recycling techniques, and handling (maybe even the elimination)of waste as well as researching better battery technologies.