Editorial: Off Shore Drilling; The Risk Is Too High

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 12 August 2015 04:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

Last month the Wilmington City Council followed the lead of many other communities along the east coast including, Carolina Beach, in opposition to seismic testing for off shore oil and gas exploration. The information gained from those tests would eventually lead to drilling rigs pumping crude or natural gas ashore for processing and transportation. The obvious concerns are environmental. One major incident on a drilling rig, a ship, or a pipeline would absolutely destroy our environment and in turn the heart of our tourism based economy in coastal North Carolina. Claims by supporters of the industry say North Carolina will gain over 55,000 related jobs and share in the revenues from production. Drilling in federal waters does not make revenue sharing with our state very likely. The money will go to Washington coffers. As for jobs, ponder this aspect of the industry, where will our state permit a processing plant along the oceanfront in the face of immense public opposition and legal challenges spanning decades? Current coastal regulations make it hard enough to build an oceanfront home let alone an industrial oil refinery.
What local government is going to permit such a large operation along a coastline where none presently exist under the sales pitch of jobs and money?
One incident and a coastal town like Carolina Beach would become an economic ghost town begging for federal money to clean it up. The state should chose environment over oil dollars. The risk is too high.

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