Local Politics

Easley: States should own offshore oil rights

Posted September 17, 2008

— Gov. Mike Easley on Wednesday asked North Carolina’s congressional delegation to make sure the state, not private oil companies, owns the rights to any new offshore oil supplies.

The U.S. House passed legislation Tuesday that would open up drilling off the coast of North Carolina and other states and give the leases to oil companies. The Senate will consider similar proposals this week.

Easley urged Congress to provide the states with leasing rights to protect their citizens and their economic security. Profits would be the sole focus of the oil companies, he said, and once the new leases are fully developed, the U.S. would lose its last reserves and become totally dependent on foreign oil.

“If we are getting low on oil, why in the world would we give away our oil reserves? Why would we give our oil to private companies so they can sell it back to us?” Easley said in a statement. “We should keep American oil for American security.”

The governor said that the pending legislation claims to require the leases to be used for U.S. consumption, but all that means is that American consumers would use up the domestic production first and then return to purchasing foreign oil.

“I frankly do not understand Congress’ logic,” he said. “This would turn a manageable problem into a crisis. We need to look at our North Carolina offshore oil reserves like a savings account. It’s the last place you go to get oil, as it’s a rainy day fund.”


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  • mlwest1970 Sep 17, 2008

    @ A confused citizen.

    thank you for bringing that point out about the 50 mile limit. I had read that on the wall street journal's site this afternoon and I couldn't agree with you more. that limit makes it a bit pointless as far as the investment in infrastructure goes.

  • A confused citizen Sep 17, 2008

    The major thing that the article left out was that the House bill that passed opened up drilling outside of 50 miles from the coast. The Interior Department reports that 88 percent of the estimated off shore reserves of 88 billion barrels are closer than 50 miles to shore.
    In reality the Democrat controlled House said yes to drilling, but immediately placed 88 percent off limits. It was nothing more than an election year ploy to provide political cover for those up for reelection.
    Easley’s lack of understanding of this problem is amazing. The oil companies would purchase the rights, and invest capital and build the infrastructure to support the exploration and recovery. The states would then gain additional revenue streams in the form of royalties, increased employment and an ultimately a larger tax base. The introduction of domestic oil would free us from sending our money overseas.
    Given the ‘efficiency’ of the Easley administration and state government, imagine how they

  • shep8851 Sep 17, 2008

    Consider this point. The state should own the oil/mineral rights in those waters that are within the 12 mile territorial limit. Beyond that, its international waters. And, while I might be mistaken--as it is now, the oil companies can go drillin in any waters that are beyond the 12 mile limit on either coast. Local governments don't really have anything to say in that matter.

  • mlwest1970 Sep 17, 2008

    so mike... use all the foreign oil first, then use ours. Funny. Isn't that what we are doing now? Wow. Another great idea.

  • Tolip Sep 17, 2008

    Just GO AWAY quietly, Easley! You are about as relevant as John Edwards at this point!!

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Sep 17, 2008

    Democratic talking points were all against this until they woke up and heard the public. Now they want all the profit too. Need term limits NOW

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Sep 17, 2008

    So I finally agree with Mikey about something? Maybe I need to re-evaluate...

    But, in any case, his logic totally escapes me!

  • HemiTodd Sep 17, 2008

    I don't believe people are disagreeing with keeping the oil taken from offshore rigs in this country. Why should we put it on the world market and then have to buy it back? That would be just plain irresponsible.

  • DAD Sep 17, 2008

    More government is always the way to go!

  • PaulRevere Sep 17, 2008

    Apparently Economics 101 is above Mikey's pay grade.