Today, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced his opposition to offshore drilling off the East Coast at a meeting in Atlantic Beach.
In response to the announcement, Oceana’s senior campaign organizer Randy Sturgill released the following statement:
“Governor Cooper should be applauded for his efforts to protect our coast from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling.
In publicly opposing offshore drilling activities, Governor Cooper is standing with his coastal communities who have the most to lose and who have overwhelmingly opposed these efforts.
Our neighbors in the Gulf have seen firsthand the destruction that this industry can bring to our shores.
North Carolinians don’t want their beach towns turned into oil towns. From the industrialization of coastal communities to the looming risk of another BP Deepwater Horizon-like disaster, offshore drilling would forever change the fabric of the American Atlantic, threatening thriving coastal economies and lucrative industries like tourism, recreation and fishing.
Along the Atlantic coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product rely on healthy ocean ecosystems. In North Carolina alone, fishing, tourism and recreation support roughly 51,000 jobs and generate nearly $2.2 billion in GDP.
All East Coast residents should be incensed to know that their livelihoods and way of life are being threatened – all for what scientists have estimated to be less than five months’ worth of oil, at current consumption rates.
Citizens stood up and let their voices be heard yet again, just like they did under the last administration. North Carolinians should feel proud that Governor Cooper saw past the political ploys of Big Oil and listened to their calls. It’s time for Washington to deliver on its promise – listen to East Coast states and local communities who are saying NO to offshore drilling.”