State News

N.C. Dems want to stay away from offshore drilling

Posted August 11, 2008

— While gas prices around the Triangle are falling, politicians are trying to figure out a way to keep fears of $5 a gallon from becoming reality.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and Richard Burr, R-N.C. are calling for offshore drilling, including the possibility of tapping into oil reserves 60 miles off North Carolina's coastline. Doing so, they say would help maintain the price of gasoline and limit foreign dependency on the natural resource.

And although Rep. Bob Etheridge, D- N.C., isn't opposed to the idea, he does not think drilling off North Carolina's shores should be the first option.

"There are 68 million acres available on- and offshore and in places where they actually have infrastructure to move it in the Gulf."

Rep Brad Miller, D-N.C., agrees, saying the U.S. should drill in places like the Gulf of Mexico, where oil companies already have leases to drill offshore.

But as far as drilling anywhere off North Carolina, Miller says doing so would be a bad idea because of the environmental costs of offshore drilling aren't worth the savings at the pump.

"A serious spill would be disastrous for North Carolina's tourism and four our fishing industry," he said.

Proponents of offshore drilling say environmental worries are overblown. Dan Mansell, who is running against Etheridge in the U.S. Second District says he is in favor of offshore drilling and supports Dole's position on lifting a 27-year federal moratorium on Atlantic Drilling.

Proponents also point to the fact that states like North Carolina would get part of the lease revenue from offshore drilling, which could be used to improve beaches and the coastline.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • loudnoises Aug 12, 2008

    sickofstupidcomments: Katrina raged in the Gulf, remember. There are HUNDREDS of platforms out there that were in her path. I don't recall seeing a billion gallons of oil washing up everywhere. You give absolutely no credit to the technology and personnel available to make this equipment as safe as possible. And do you even visit NC beaches? Ever? Ever see what washes up on shore just from overturned container ships? Their cargo is less secure than an oil rig but you don't see ships being banned from our ports. Perhaps some more research than a couple vague links might bolster your arguement.

  • Eduardo1 Aug 12, 2008

    KEEP IT UP DEMS, YOU WILL BE RED IN THE FACE COME NOVEMBER WHEN N.C VOTES THE SAME COLOR. YOU ARE THERE TO LISTEN TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE 73% of the nation want action out of this Democratic Congress. The witch says NO VOTE, talk about an abuse of Power.

  • sweetsea Aug 12, 2008

    You cannot see an oil derrick that is ten miles or more offshore. Oil spills are extremely rare and clean ups are much more efficient and quick than ever before. To take offshore drilling off the table is economic illiteracy. Fishing around oil rigs is great because it provides structure for fish. To condemn offshore drilling because of the remote possibility of a spill is irresponsible. Oil companies do not want spills because they are expensive and they will use all of the latest technology to prevent them. Our national security and standard of living is at stake. Some people are just too dumb to understand but they have been fed the ecobabble snake oil all of their lives and have soaked up every drop. They are showing Al Gore, that world renowned meterologist and internet inventor, to grade school kids now via "Inconvenient Truth". The liberal establishment is trying to brainwash a whole new generation to carry on their radical environmental agenda.

  • lizard Aug 12, 2008

    hey sickofstupidcomments - i am so impressed with your choices of neutral sites for your research. Why didn't you just pick the Chinese Red Army daily newspaper or other disinterested party that does not want to upset our economy?

  • Eduardo1 Aug 12, 2008

    Hey DEMS, we will not forget you in November! At the rate of prices going up, who will be able to afford the fish that you will have us believe will be affected. And who will be able to afford to drive to the pristine beaches. And do you think we can all just dump our so-called gas burners and get new vehicles. How many miles a year do I have to drive before the economics of buying a more fuel efficient vehicle starts to mean anything. Yes, you are correct, if I save $20 per week, it will only take me only 24 years before I start leveling off against what I currently drive WOW, by then, I will have gone through 4-5 new vehicles. Gimmie a break!

  • gpcherokee Aug 12, 2008

    They must want to pay $5 a gallon for gas then.

  • sickofstupidcomments Aug 12, 2008

    Wow, what a bunch of fools. If someone expresses a concern for the natural beauty of North Carolina's shores, beaches, and oceanfronts they are labeled an 'econut' or 'econazi'?

    Sure go ahead and drill and when the hurricanes come and push crude oil out into the waters that pollute our commercial fishing industry, clog our beaches with oil - thereby impacting our other huge industry (tourism) I'm sure then it will be worth it that our gas is $.04 cheaper.

    You people really need to do some research on this before your chant of "drill, drill, drill". I don't think you have really considered what offshore drilling really is and the environmental impacts is it proven to have:

    and on and on and on and on... Don't take Fox News as the gospel, read and more importantly - THINK for yourselves.

  • oldschooltarheel Aug 12, 2008

    Open those off-shore deposits KNOWN to exist for drilling now! Tapping that resource does NOT preclude "green technology" development - entirely different companies are involved with developing different energy sources.
    NC legislators have always cast a slanty eye around peeping for more sources of tax $$$. They have a history of short sightedness for the NC economy & the economic viability of NC citizens: so much so they have driven many lucractive businesses away from NC (BMW, Mercedes, aeronautics engine builderto name a few but not all) with their open greed (counting those chickens before they hatched).
    Drilling for existing oil & natural gas off the NC coast should have happened when the state of NC leased those areas out in the 60s. They then banned development while collecting lease monies - they were wrong & had to pay back ginormous amounts of $$$ to the companies they defrauded.
    Hopefully our legislators will see revenue stream from companies, payroll taxes & benefits to NC.

  • GWALLY Aug 12, 2008

    Story should read...."politicians are staying away from offshore drilling untill they can find a way to fatten their wallets from this venture!!!" Ruined beaches???? me one!!!!.....$5.00 gal gas will be here by next spring!!!!

    Politicians (dem and rep) are looking for 2 things (and only 2 things)(1) How to get re-elected. (2) How to personally benifit from whatever laws they support!!!

  • ncwebguy Aug 12, 2008

    It is ironic that conservatives are so against... wait for it... conserving! Why? Because if we did that, ExxonMobil/BP/TexacoShell/Chevron wouldn't be able to name their price for oil and maintain a high level of demand.

    McCain himself said it was a bad idea, until he flip flopped to do what his contributors tell him to do. First the "gas tax holiday" that would only lead to a further crumbling of our road infrastructure, then the "drill wherever, see if I care" speech.

    McCain, McCrory, Dole, Burr, want to gamble with the country's beaches because Big Oil is covering their bets with their record quarterly profits.

    If the fishing and tourism industries made around a billion dollars in PROFIT a week, they could afford the best politicicans money can buy. But they can't, so they're held hostage by people nowhere near the coast -- Charlotte, Salisbury, Winston-Salem, and Arizona.