Two more coastal N.C. communities are now on record as being formally opposed to offshore oil and gas drilling.
Town leaders in Emerald Isle and Carolina Beach each passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling in unanimous votes Tuesday during their respective meetings. Another coastal town, Swansboro, is set to consider a similar resolution tonight.
The Carolina Beach council’s action, which came with no discussion, reaffirms the board’s resolution passed in February 2014 in opposition to seismic testing and exploration and adds opposition to the development of oil and gas resources on the continental shelf or elsewhere off the N.C. coast. The resolution urges Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly to oppose offshore petroleum production polices “that risk the health, safety and sound environmental stewardship of North Carolina’s coastline whose natural beauty attracts a proven tourism driven economy.”
In Emerald Isle, the resolution was requested by a group of concerned residents working with the Don’t Drill NC campaign. Members of the group spoke on its behalf at the meeting. The group has worked with national environmental organization Oceana in a campaign to prevent future drilling off the East Coast.
The resolutions passed in both communities contend that the risks associated with offshore oil and gas drilling far outweigh any benefits. Fishing, tourism and recreation support about 51,000 jobs and generate nearly $2.2 billion in economic benefits to the state, according to information presented at the Emerald Isle meeting.
Oceana says more than 80 East Coast communities have approved resolutions opposing offshore testing and drilling.