Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Perdue: N.C. must share in any offshore revenues

Gov. Bev Perdue's office has issued a statement reacting to the Obama Administration's decision to move forward with plans to eventually open up areas of the East Coast to energy exploration. Perdue has named a study committee to examine the issue of exploration for oil or gas off the N.C. coast, and the General Assembly has its own study commission looking at the same issue. Here's what Perdue said today:

"I learned of President Obama’s plans to open the Atlantic Coast to drilling exploration when I spoke to Sec. Salazar late last night.
"It looks like the Federal government is moving forward with this plan with or without us, so I made it clear to Sec. Salazar that as governor of North Carolina I will remain aggressively engaged in this issue.
"I reminded him of the three issues that I discussed with him before about North Carolina’s position on drilling:
"1) The protection of North Carolina’s tremendous natural and economic resources, and our military role in national defense, is crucial. We need to know the locations of the proposed drilling;
"2) If drilling off the North Carolina coastline is going to occur, we must share in any revenues realized; and
"3) It is vital that we maintain our ability to explore all options for energy production on our coast, including green opportunities such as wind power.
"Our Congressional delegation will hear from me, and our citizens will see me representing North Carolina’s interests during federal public hearings."

Virginia plans to move ahead aggressively on offshore exploration, but its plans may be hemmed in by military concerns. On the N.C. coast, where energy companies such as Duke are contemplating putting industrial wind farms and where much of the economy is dependent upon tourism, the state has generally taken a go-slow approach. But if, as Perdue mentions, there's some prospect for significant royalties from eventual production, enthusiasm for exploration no doubt will grow.

Meanwhile the Southern Environmental Law Center has taken a dim view of the Obama proposal, saying that six months worth of oil isn't worth the risk to the coastline.
Here's the center's statement:

"Today’s announcement by President Obama opening much of the U.S. east coast for the first time to oil and gas drilling risks too much for the South, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center. The Southern Environmental Law Center urges protection of the Atlantic coast and beaches of the South, and pursuit of energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy sources rather than drilling for the small amount of oil offshore.
“Opening the South Atlantic Coast to oil and gas drilling will do nothing to address climate change, provide only about six months worth of oil, and put at risk multi-billion dollar tourism and fisheries industries. One oil spill could devastate a coast,” said Derb Carter, director, Carolinas Office of the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Instead, reducing our dependence on such old, polluting energy sources by bringing America’s innovative talent to bear on fully exploiting energy efficiency and clean renewable energy sources should be the first step in an energy policy that generates jobs and keeps America technologically competitive.”
Drilling for oil would risk Southern tourism, rare wildlife, and fisheries for what the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service estimates would be only enough oil for six months that would take seven to ten years to bring online. But it would have no impact on domestic oil and gas prices until at least 2030, and even then any such impact would be “insignificant,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
"Each year thousands of people enjoy the natural beauty and white sandy beaches of the Southeastern coastline with an economic impact of over $63 billion and over half a million jobs in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Rare and iconic wildlife—including migratory birds, endangered sea turtles and the rarest of whales also enjoy the same coastal areas. Commercial fisheries bring in over a quarter of a billion dollars each year and are crucial to local economies and traditional ways of life in the region.
"Investing in clean energy could result in about 170,000 jobs for Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia according to estimates from a recent study by the Center for American Progress."

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

IMPEACH BEV PERDUE!

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see what role will be played by the private sector. Will private businesses pay leases to states? or will Obama want to set up a state pipeline??

& yes! VOTE OUT BEV PERDUE!

Wade said...

Ask Spain how "green" energy jobs worked out. The answer is, it didn't. But the environmentalists don't want you to know that for every 1 job created by "green" energy, 2.2 are lost. If an environmental group says it, chances are it is either a lie or not telling you the complete story.

The environment is worth saving. But don't believe the lies of environmentalists. Thanks to internet, their lies are easily exposed.

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