RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper said he’s reached out to President Donald Trump and his administration to include North Carolina in the recently announced moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.
Last week, Trump extended a ten-year moratorium on offshore oil drilling for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but did not include North Carolina in the executive order.
“I am deeply concerned and disappointed that you did not include North Carolina in the moratorium,” Cooper wrote in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. “Offshore drilling threatens North Carolina’s coastal economy and environment and offers our state minimal economic benefit. Accepted science tells us that there is little, if any, oil worth drilling for off North Carolina’s coast, and the risks of offshore drilling far outweigh the benefits.”
Cooper said the dangers of offshore drilling would threaten coastal communities by jeopardizing tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, and natural resources that generate $3 billion annually for North Carolina and supports 30,000 jobs.
During a virtual briefing last week, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said President Trump would include North Carolina in the executive order if state officials wanted to be.
“I don’t know where North Carolina will be, but I talked to the president last night. He said if they wanted to be included in the executive order then he would do that,” Graham said during the Sept. 9 briefing.
Forty-five North Carolina communities have adopted formal resolutions opposing the expansion of drilling, Cooper said.
In the meantime, Attorney General Josh Stein told WECT on Monday that his office will continue its lawsuit against the Trump administration for approving permits for seismic testing off North Carolina’s coast.