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Governor's panel hosts meeting on offshore energy tonight

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you have an opinion on offshore energy, Gov. Bev Perdue's Scientific Advisory Panel wants to hear it. The panel is holding a public forum tonight at 5:30 at the Hilton Riverside on Water Street in Downtown Wilmington.

It's your chance to give your feedback.

Former UNCW Chancellor Jim Leutze is part of the panel because of his expertise on the impact of coastal development. He realizes drilling for oil raises concerns and believes there are other options.

"Interestingly enough, the mouth of the Cape Fear River is one of the other areas where there is enough wind power to justify the expense of putting up wind turbines," Leutze said. "It's not simple, and it's not an inexpensive way, but to my mind, it's a much more desirable way, a much more realistic way to get power."

The governor created the panel in response in part to the federal government's oil and gas leasing program off the Atlantic coast.

The panel was supposed to hold its meeting last week, but it had to be canceled because of snow across the region. Other panel meetings are planned for Manteo and Morehead City.

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