From a July 26 editorial in the (Greensboro) News & Record:
If you’ve been to the beach this summer, most likely the local town there has said no to offshore oil. Nags Head, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Surf City, Topsail Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle and others are all on record.
Why? They depend on tourism. People are drawn to the coast as long as the beaches and water are clean. The risk of oil washing up on shore from an accidental spill is unacceptable.
Last week, Gov. Roy Cooper stood with them, declaring the state’s opposition to opening offshore waters to the oil and gas industry. “Not off our coast,” the governor said. He directed the Department of Environmental Quality to submit comments to the federal government outlining the state’s objections.
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President Donald Trump has proposed reversing a decision by the Obama administration, which had kept the Atlantic coast off limits to drilling. This supports Trump’s plan to increase domestic oil production.
That goal should be balanced against other considerations. One is potential costs to other industries, such as fishing and tourism.
The U.S. is already in a strong energy position. Our state’s coast should not be exposed to risk over resources that simply aren’t needed now or in the foreseeable future.