Source: Press Release
Governor Cooper wrote the Trump Administration in order to ask that North Carolina be included in a recently-extended moratorium on offshore drilling. Republican-led South Carolina, Georgia and Florida were all included in the president’s moratorium despite the states sharing the same Atlantic coast as North Carolina.
“I am deeply concerned and disappointed that you did not include North Carolina in the moratorium,” wrote Governor Cooper in the letter. “Offshore drilling threatens North Carolina’s coastal economy and environment and offers our state minimal economic benefit. 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.”
Governor Cooper also emphasized the importance of coastal tourism in North Carolina and how oil drilling could jeopardize the industry.
“North Carolina’s coastal tourism generates $3 billion annually and supports more than 30,000 jobs, as people from all over come to enjoy our beaches, restaurants, and recreational fishing. Commercial fishing brings in another $95 million to our economy each year,” Cooper wrote. “North Carolina’s 300 plus miles of coastline, 2.3 million acres of estuarine waters, and over 10,000 miles of estuarine shoreline are important assets which contribute to a robust state and national economy, and we cannot afford to endanger them.”
Additionally, forty-five North Carolina communities have formalized their opposition to drilling expansion in the state, according to the press release.