On the next Coastline: The Obama administration just approved a draft map that could open up the North Carolina coast to offshore drilling. How soon could oil and gas exploration begin? How would it affect our economy? Our environment? Can offshore drilling and wind coexist?
At the recent Coastal Energy Summit, experts and policy makers were looking offshore for future development. But whether it be wind, oil, or natural gas, those resources are located in federal waters, meaning the profits from the leases go to the national government. Governor Pat McCrory is part of a coalition which aims to bring revenue from offshore energy to the state.
Wind farms just a few miles off the coast of North Carolina could be a reality within the decade. After tax incentives for these projects were renewed in the recent “fiscal cliff” deal, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management came to Wilmington to hear what area residents and stakeholders think. That’s because two of three projects planned for North Carolina coastal waters are in the Cape Fear region.
A coalition of environmental groups, small businesses, and elected officials in the state say offshore wind energy is a portal to good jobs, renewable, clean energy. And it's dramatically under-planned and underfunded in North Carolina.