Roy Cooper urged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to grant a 60-day
extension on public comments on offshore drilling and seismic testing
off of North Carolina’s coast. In the letter to Sec. Zinke, Governor
Cooper also urged the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to hold
additional public hearings on the North Carolina coast in Kill Devil
Hills, Morehead City, and Wilmington.
Currently, the only public feedback session is set to take place in Raleigh as an “open house.”
“This extension is necessary to allow for public
hearings in coastal areas and to give the public, especially the people
of eastern North Carolina, sufficient time to submit comments on
offshore drilling proposed for nearly the entire U.S. Outer Continental
Shelf,” Gov. Cooper wrote in the letter.
Gov. Cooper has called on the current
administration to grant North Carolina an exemption from offshore
drilling and seismic testing and has encouraged North Carolinians to
share their feedback with the Interior Department at (202) 208-3100.
At least 30 coastal communities have passed
resolutions opposing drilling, including the Dare County Board of
Commissioners, joining hundreds of businesses and a bipartisan group of
North Carolina’s Congressional delegation.
Following the Trump Administration’s proposal to
open the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to offshore drilling, bipartisan
governors of coastal states spoke out in opposition. Days after the
announcement, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced that after
meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida would be exempted from
the plan, citing the importance of tourism and the coastal economy to
the state. Gov. Cooper previously submitted public comments opposing
seismic testing and drilling off North Carolina’s coast and on January
20th, he requested an official exemption for North Carolina in a call
with Secretary Zinke.
Click here to read the letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke