Quantcast

North Carolina Governor: 'Not Off Our Coast'

Popular
Lea-Hutaff Island. Walker Golder

By Alexandra Adams

There's been no small amount of pushback to President Trump's recently announced plan to expose all our coasts to risky offshore drilling. But Thursday another shoe dropped. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper drew a figurative line in the sand when he publicly denounced the plan and conveyed that North Carolina's communities and quality of life are more important that private oil conglomerate profits. "I can sum it up in four words: not off our coast," the Governor stated.

Thursday's announcement marks another critical moment when communities and state leaders are standing up to an administration that is ignoring citizens in favor of lining the pockets of oil companies. Gov. Cooper's statement won't be the last we'll see given all that coastal communities have to lose.


In fact, many of these communities already weighed in when the U.S. Department of the Interior completed its 2012-2022 Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program just eight months ago. Upon making its determination to exclude the Atlantic ocean, the agency cited that not only had it received extensive opposition from citizens living along the Atlantic coast and their public officials, but that in the Mid- and South Atlantic Planning Areas ocean-dependent tourism accounted for more than $6.5 billion and $4.4 billion in value added to adjacent coastal areas.

The agency went on to say that stakeholders had "expressed concern that oil and gas activities and their potential impacts could jeopardize existing economic activities and the health of important contributors to coastal economies." And that was, in fact, the case. As of June 2017, 126 East Coast municipalities and more than 1,200 local, state and federal elected officials had formally opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting. And in the state of North Carolina that included chambers of commerce, restaurant associations, tourism boards and fishing groups standing up to drilling off their coasts. But this sentiment was broad and came from all points in the country, with citizens understanding that these waters belong everyone.

Gov. Cooper has acknowledged what many coastal state leaders are finding—not only is drilling a risk to booming tourism and fishing economies, but it is a direct threat to its citizens' way of life. North Carolina residents know that drilling brings with it not only the risk of major spills, but routine pollution and industrialization of its coasts.

Gov. Cooper's statement Thursday now adds him to the growing list of bipartisan leaders who have joined the fight against another effort to enrich oil companies while leaving communities high and dry.

Alexandra Adams is the senior advocate for the oceans program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Coral restoration in Guam. U.S. Pacific Fleet / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Erica Cirino

Visit a coral reef off the coast of Miami or the Maldives and you may see fields of bleached white instead of a burst of colors.

Read More
Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana. Jacob W. Frank / NPS / Flickr

By Jason Bittel

High up in the mountains of Montana's Glacier National Park, there are two species of insect that only a fly fishermen or entomologist would probably recognize. Known as stoneflies, these aquatic bugs are similar to dragonflies and mayflies in that they spend part of their lives underwater before emerging onto the land, where they transform into winged adults less than a half inch long. However, unlike those other species, stoneflies do their thing only where cold, clean waters flow.

Read More
Sponsored
Augusta National / Getty Images

By Bob Curley

  • The new chicken sandwiches at McDonald's, Popeyes, and Chick-fil-A all contain the MSG flavor enhancement chemical.
  • Experts say MSG can enhance the so-called umami flavor of a food.
  • The ingredient is found in everything from Chinese food and pizza to prepackaged sandwiches and table sauces.

McDonald's wants to get in on the chicken sandwich war currently being waged between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A.

Read More
Protesters march during a "Friday for future" youth demonstration in a street of Davos on Jan. 24 on the sideline of the World Economic Forum annual meeting. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Youth climate activists marched through the streets of Davos, Switzerland Friday as the World Economic Forum wrapped up in a Fridays for Future demonstration underscoring their demand that the global elite act swiftly to tackle the climate emergency.

Read More
chuchart duangdaw / Moment / Getty Images

By Tim Radford

The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.

Read More