Press Release

On Monday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a public scoping meeting on the Outer Banks regarding the federal government’s proposal to conduct an oil and gas lease sale off the coast of North Carolina between 2017-2022.

Representative Paul Tine submitted the following comments to BOEM concerning their offshore drilling proposal:
"I am writing to express my opposition to BOEM’s offshore oil and gas exploration proposal.
Under the current plan, there is no direct benefit to eastern North Carolina.  While the discussion in the media continues to be that there will be economic benefits and revenue sharing in North Carolina to offset the risks of offshore drilling, the current conditions of the plan do not show that possibility.
Today, there is no federally authorized revenue sharing plan for North Carolina.  To compound the issue, the state of North Carolina has stated that any potential revenue sharing would be dispersed across the state.  Without revenue sharing, there is also no way to develop an environmental impact fund to offset any potential mishap.  Furthermore, infrastructure studies by MMS and now BOEM would indicate that the jobs that are developed would be located in the Norfolk area, as this port is the most suited to the industry’s needs. 
There is no energy resource that has no risk to the environment.  The question becomes what is the right risk reward ratio for exploring off the coast of North Carolina.  Our natural environment supports a $1.2 billion dollar tourism economy.  It is our coastal community that takes the risk of the exploration while receiving no reward to shield the local economy and environment from potential issues.
The plan proposed by BOEM creates a risk to our economy, environment, and way of life with no offsetting reward for taking that risk.  This could change, of course, but I cannot support the plan as it has been set forth.
Thank you for your consideration and please let me know if my office can be of any assistance.

Representative Paul N. Tine"