I just finished reading a lengthy press release from the Southeast Energy Alliance (SEA). It makes a strong argument for "offshore energy development" along North Carolina's Atlantic coastline. 6700 jobs! Over $550-million in state revenue! "Tremendous opportunity to boost North Carolina's economy." It is true that oil-producing states have not been hit as hard by the current economic woes as the national average. Energy-dependent states like Oregon and Michigan have the worst unemployment rates right now. SEA describes themselves thusly: "The Southeast Energy Alliance is a non-partisan organization of businesses, trade associations and non-profit organizations – including Farm Bureaus, Electric Cooperative Associations, Chambers of Commerce and Manufacturing Associations – across the Southeastern United States." You can find an exec summary of the North Carolina report from SEA here. If you really want to geek out, the full report is here. The actual reports and the summary do directly mention oil and natural gas on the title page. But the press release tiptoes around what they are really talking about: offshore oil drilling. In the final paragraph of the PR, SEA says the "o" word once: "According to the report, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) maps and OCS assessments show that North Carolina’s adjacent waters, which comprise approximately 23 percent of the total Atlantic resource base, are projected to contain as much as 1.74 billion barrels of oil and 15.29 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. However, because of current federal law, seismographic inventory has not been conducted in years." They really feel "oil' has a negative spin. And that needs to be avoided because North Carolina needs a change in federal regs to get the drills, baby, the drills.
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