Offshore Wind the Focus of Rally Before Public Hearing

 

For Immediate Release
 
April 26, 2012
 
 
Offshore Wind the Focus of Rally Before Public Hearing
Despite Agency’s Focus on Drilling, Offshore Wind Draws Serious Attention  
 
 
Wilmington, NC -  As the Department of the Interior holds hearings on offshore drilling in Wilmington, community groups will show strong support for offshore wind.  With North Carolina’s strong offshore wind resources and tourism industry, community leaders urge the government agency to abandon the prospects of drilling off the state’s coast and promote clean energy solutions.
 
“The real road to energy security and energy independence is through clean energy,” said Mac Montgomery, Chair of the Cape Fear Group of the North Carolina Sierra Club and former Mayor of Kure Beach.  “Our state can put thousands of people to work and help lessen our dependence on dirty forms of energy like oil by looking at the long term solution that offshore wind provides.”
 
Where offshore drilling would put tourism and fishing jobs at risk, offshore wind development would be a job creator.  According to the US Department of Energy, offshore wind in North Carolina could bring $2.7 million a year in payments to landowners and $10.7 million a year in local property tax revenue. The construction phase alone could create 1,628 new jobs, bringing $188.5 million into local economies. 
 
On the other hand, there have been more than 40 major oil spills from offshore drilling in the past 30 years -- each totaling more than 42,000 gallons.  It only takes one oil spill to destroy a coastal economy in a place like North Carolina. Tourist economies rely on pristine beaches, and fishing jobs rely on healthy oceans.
 
“The public is showing strong opposition this week toward oil and gas exploration at hearings along the East Coast,” said Zachary Keith, Senior Organizer in North Carolina for Oceana.  “Citizens from diverse backgrounds are coming out to express their concern for marine life, fisheries and our coastal economies from the impacts of airgun blasts used to search for oil.” 
 
Dr. Aaron Richardet, Surfrider Foundation Cape Fear Chapter executive board member stated, "Our nation’s oceans, waves and beaches are vital recreational, economic and ecological treasures that will be polluted by an increase in offshore drilling for either oil or natural gas. Instead of pursuing transient and environmentally harmful ways to meet America’s energy needs, we need to seek comprehensive and environmentally sustainable energy solutions, including energy conservation."
 
 
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Issue this article is associated with: 
Offshore Wind