outer banks says no thanks to oil drilling
If you love Outer Banks beaches, you probably don’t want to see them covered in oil. Neither do we.
It’s been more than 20 years since my last anti-offshore oil drilling rally, so I was happy to see hundreds of people, including old friends from Ocracoke, turn up for the rally organized by the Outer Banks chapter of Surfrider Foundation and NotTheAnswerNC.org on Monday, March 16th. Catherine Kozak captures the excitement of the rally, and the BOEM meeting the same day, in this great piece for Coastal Review Online.
“For members of LegaSea, an Outer Banks grassroots anti-drilling group, it was like a flashback to more than 25 years ago when Mobil Oil Corp. wanted to sink an exploratory well off Cape Hatteras – except this time, they were joined by opponents of all ages and political stripes.
“I was just bowled over by all the people that were there,” said Mickey Baker, a founding member of LegaSea who attended an open house held Monday by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM. “I was very, very encouraged. We saw another generation coming up.”
About 670 people — more than any public meeting in BOEM’s five-year history — poured into the unstructured four-hour session at the Ramada Plaza Oceanfront Hotel to submit comments and talk with staff about a proposal to open the Atlantic coast to offshore oil and gas exploration.
The agency is proposing up to 14 lease sales between 2017-2022 within planning areas along the mid and south Atlantic, Alaska and Gulf of Mexico coasts.
“I would say we have heard from a lot of people today who are opposed,” Connie Gillette, BOEM media relations manager, said late Monday as the steady stream of attendees started slowing down.
But, Gillette said the agency, which oversees development of offshore energy resources, welcomed the overwhelming community interest in the issue. BOEM is the successor to the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service that conducted the previous oil meetings on the Outer Banks.”