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Opinions on offshore energy welcome


NOTE: Due to Monday's winter weather, the meeting of the Governor's Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy tonight at UNCW has been canceled. No make-up date has been announced.


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you have an opinion on offshore energy, Governor Bev Perdue's Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy wants to hear it.

“We want people to be informed, and we want them to inform us. Let them let us know what their views and opinions are and why they feel the way they feel.” Dr. Jim Leutze is part of the panel because of his expertise on the impact of coastal development. He realizes there is a lot of risk with offshore oil drilling, and some coastal residents agree.

“I don't think I'm really a big fan of it because I live here on the beach. I enjoy the beach, and I'd hate for something to happen if there was some sort of spill here,” said Carolina Beach resident Alex Croft.

“Well, I was not for offshore drilling, even prior to the spill in the Gulf, so that just made up my mind that I really wouldn't support offshore drilling off the Carolina coast anyway.” Wilmington’s Ernie Manning shares the same concerns.

Leutze said there is no guarantee there is oil offshore, and if there is, the panel is not sure of the amount or how long it would take for the oil to get on shore. He believes there are more sustainable, desirable and realistic ways to get power, and Croft and Manning agree.

“Maybe start looking into wind turbines offshore,” suggested Croft.

“I was in California a while back, and I drove through areas out there near the coast where they had the wind power, and I sort of like the idea,” said Manning.

“We think immediately about oil or natural gas, and then we start thinking about wind, but there are a whole group of other energy sources out there. But our job is to say, what energy resources are out there and what is the best policy for North Carolina as far as harvesting those resources,” Leutze said.

You can voice your ideas and concerns Monday at 4pm in the UNC Wilmington Nursing building.
After holding public forums throughout the state, the panel will report to the governor in the fall. To find a list of additional meetings, visit

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