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By GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Republican senators say directing North Carolina’s Democratic governor to join South Carolina and Virginia in a compact on energy production and offshore exploration would give the state a seat at the table to get its share of energy royalties.

Sen. Bob Rucho of Charlotte said Wednesday his proposed “Energy Jobs Act” would provide a united front with North Carolina’s coastal neighbors to lobby Congress for revenue sharing. Rucho said the bill could help North Carolina create thousands of jobs and bring in nearly $500 million to the state annually.

The news conference occurred exactly one year after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Rucho said the industry has learned from mistakes and he expects improved safety features if exploration resumes off the North Carolina coast.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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