Attorney General Josh Stein announced his office would continue their challenge of the Trump administration’s push for seismic testing off the coast of North Carolina, the Associated Press reports. The state sued when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decided to override state coastal regulators and allow WesternGeco LLC to test in the Atlantic. The company pulled out of its plans but the suit remains.
“I am pleased by WesternGeco’s decision and urge the Trump administration to stop its headlong rush to put oil rigs off North Carolina’s beautiful shores,” Stein said in a statement.
Even though the immediate group looking to test off the coast has ended their plans, the lawsuit persists because, as Stein says, “North Carolina’s ability to manage and protect its own coastal resources,” is important to protect. Other companies still hope to explore for oil.
The Trump Administration has instructed drilling to be prohibited off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina — all Republican-led states. North Carolina, with Democrats Roy Cooper and Josh Stein in office, was excluded from that protection.
Governor Cooper wrote a letter to President Trump urging him to extend the moratorium on drilling to include North Carolina. “Accepted science tells us that there is little, if any, oil worth drilling for off North Carolina’s coast, and the risks of offshore drilling far outweigh the benefits,” Cooper wrote.