Coastal Review Online | June 17, 2016 | Staff Report
RALEIGH – Gov. Pat McCrory, in a letter dated Tuesday to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urges federal agencies to promptly complete their review of applications to permit seismic surveys for oil and natural gas off the North Carolina coast.
McCrory writes of his disappointment in the Interior Department’s decision announced in March to remove from consideration offshore lease sales in the mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-22.
“At a time when the United States should be moving toward energy security, we should not close the door on offshore energy exploration before we know what Mid-Atlantic OCS resources can be harnessed in an environmentally sound way,” according to McCrory’s letter. “The proposed federal program unreasonably elevates the demands and unsubstantiated concerns of special interest groups above the interests of the vast majority of Americans who seek the economic prosperity and energy independence that offshore exploration would bring to our nation.”
Jewell and Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, said on March 15 that factors considered in the decision included potential conflicts with other ocean uses, including the U.S. Defense Department and commercial interests, market dynamics, limited infrastructure and opposition from many coastal communities.
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