Local News

Wilmington City Council says no to offshore drilling

Posted July 21, 2015 11:11 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2015 11:14 p.m. EDT

WRAL News

— The Wilmington City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night to oppose seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling off North Carolina’s coast.

Wilmington, the state’s largest port city, said the federal government’s plan for offshore oil and gas exploration threatens coastal communities, economies and marine life.

“We applaud the Wilmington City Council for taking a stand against big oil and saying no to seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling,” said Randy Sturgill, campaign organizer at Oceana. “Opposition to East Coast drilling is growing every day and the federal government should be listening. Opening up the Atlantic to offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business. There are countless risks with little to no reward.

“Coastal communities like Wilmington have the most to lose, and their voices must be heard. We encourage local residents and their elected officials to continue to speak out against the Obama’s administration’s proposed plan to open up the Atlantic to Big Oil.”

More than 60 coastal communities, including 16 in North Carolina, have passed similar resolutions. Oceana said more than 1.5 million petitions opposing offshore drilling development have been sent to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Oceana said offshore wind in North Carolina would produce more than twice as many jobs and almost 30 percent more energy than offshore drilling in 20 years.

“These efforts could destroy our coastal economies and communities for decades to come,” said Sturgill. “If allowed, this plan would open the East Coast to industrial offshore drilling for the first time in U.S. history. Offshore drilling in the Atlantic would lead to a coast scattered with oil and gas rigs, the industrialization of coastal communities and the looming threat of a Deepwater Horizon-like disaster.”