Governor 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