CoastLine: Oil and Gas Development off the North Carolina Coast

Jun 5, 2015

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on February 11, 2015. 

Offshore oil and gas exploration:  could it come to the North Carolina coast? 

Waters along the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Georgia are included in a draft plan released by the Obama Administration at the end of last month.  If the area is not, at some point, excluded from the proposal,  lease sales could happen by 2021. 

Almost as soon Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the draft plan that will set the boundaries for oil and gas drilling and development until 2022, opponents of drilling and critics of the proposal began lining up. 

Environmentalists say the risks of seismic testing, drilling, and oil spills pose an unacceptable threat. 

Advocates for the oil and gas industry complain the proposed map is inadequatekeeping the Pacific, large swaths of Alaskan waters, and the eastern Gulf of Mexico closed to drilling. 

On today’s edition of CoastLine, we explore the economic case to be made forand againstdrilling off the coast.  We also take a look at the environmental concerns. 

But first, to help us understand the draft plan and how it might unfold, we’re joined by Abigail Ross Hopper, Director of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Washington, D.C.

In-studio guests:

Algenon Cash, Director of Minority Outreach for America's Energy Forum

Dr. Craig Galbraith, Economist and Professor, UNCW's Cameron School of Business

Mike Giles, North Carolina Coastal Federation

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding a public scoping meeting on this topic February 17th from 3-7 PM at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach.