The Surfrider Foundation is up to business as usual, with its Outer Banks chapter looking to sink the latest effort to bring offshore drilling to North Carolina’s shores.
In recent months U.S. Senators introduced an amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline bill, paving the way for President Obama’s administration to start the process of exploring and developing offshore oil and natural gas resources in the region. While the President promised to veto the bill, within days of the amendment’s introduction, on January 27th, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released a draft proposal for more than a dozen potential lease sales. It was a quick burst from some local government and supporters of offshore oil exploration to create what they call a new “era of economic growth” and energy security. The offshore drilling project aims to use seismic imaging to identify oil and gas reservoirs and supporters of drilling are projecting an increase in state revenues by as much as $1.4 billion in the next 20 years.
Naturally, Surfrider isn’y buying that pitch, so they’ve started their own campaign. The “Not The Answer NC” campaign poses its own questions about who offshore drilling really impacts while bringing to light the risk vs reward of drilling for oil in the Atlantic. But more than just offer info and insight, Surfrider is spreading their call to action to every environmentally minded citizen from North Carolina to Southern California and beyond. Instagram posts, Facebook posts, and even the opportunity to file an official federal statement are all available at nottheanswernc.org.
Their most hopeful solution to all this fuss? They say revenue from the drilling wouldn’t help the local community as much as the special interest groups within the fossil fuels industry, the treacherous seas in the region make the Outer Banks a prime location for another sad BP-like oil spill, and most importantly they say it’s now time to stop digging for non-renewable energy sources and get focused on North Carolina’s non-polluting renewable energy sources like solar power.
So, is this just the latest battle against one more potential site for oil-drilling? Or will a victory for Surfrider make waves in going green for good?