Oil and gas exploration moves forward in Atlantic

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)- The Obama administration announced the first step toward oil and natural gas exploration off the Atlantic coast.

“It’s definitely unfortunately the first big step forward towards allowing seismic air guns off the Atlantic Coast but it is by no means a final decision,” said Sara Young, a marine scientist with Oceana says decision by the Obama administration was one they expected.

The decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management sets a precedential path forward for exploration of oil and natural gas reserves off of our coast.

“The economic impacts from offshore oil and natural gas exploration are significant for our state upwards of four billion dollars per year,” said David McGowan with the North Carolina Petroleum Council, “We need an all of the above energy strategy here in this country to meet our growing demand for energy at home here and also abroad.”

Opponents say North Carolina is suited for other types of energy that need no exploration.

“North Carolina specifically does have a lot to gain from offshore wind,” said Young, “a lot of states in the Atlantic are moving forward with great speed.”

They say exploring these reserves through seismic testing Is harmful to the environment and wildlife.

Which is why several local towns, including some in our area, have come out against it.

“So it definitely helps to have local governments and local communities, stepping up and saying they are not ok with having air guns off their coast,” said Young.

Proponents though say the testing and extraction is safe.

“It is safe, it has been done safely,” said McGowan, “in other areas of the country including in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Friday afternoon Gov. McCrory released a statement applauding the decision.

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Is a good decision and long overdue. Energy policy IS a national security issue not to be taken lightly
The PROBLEM is basically - US. We equate energy exploration with energy "pumping". Nothing is further from the truth. First and foremost the energy has to be easily accessible. If its not the company's will not go after it, plain and simple.
Its like NC and the new pro fracking law. Nothing will come of it. Why? Because the gas is too hard to get at and it is only enough to supply NC's needs for 5 years. Right now the easiest fracking is in NU/PA and the new field discovered in California. They are huge fields and oil company's will go after them over drilling/fracking in NC.

Now, if we find oil/gas out there that is easily accessible that changes everything, but even at that I don't see a big boom for SE North Carolina - we are too far away from I-95 - but it WILL benefit NC on the whole. The big problem will be getting hte oil/gas to shore......

Vog

Not a problem getting it to shore...there are over 20,000 miles of pipelines in Gulf Of Mexico sending oil and gas to shore. Same could be done on East Coast.