FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
CONTACT: Liz Doherty
Dan Forest Supports Offshore Drilling, Even As President Trump Adds North Carolina to Offshore Drilling Ban
Gov. Cooper urged the President last week to add NC to moratorium that will ban offshore drilling
RALEIGH — This week, President Trump added North Carolina to a moratorium that will ban offshore oil and gas drilling off the coast for at least ten years. About a month ago, the president had included Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida but left North Carolina out of the equation. In response, Governor Cooper wrote a letter last week urging the president to add North Carolina to the list.
In the letter, Gov. Cooper pointed to bipartisan opposition to offshore drilling, “Opposition to offshore drilling is bipartisan and widespread across our state. Within North Carolina, 45 of our local communities have adopted formal resolutions against expansion of offshore drilling.”
Lt. Governor Dan Forest, though, has been noticeably quiet on this big environmental win — which makes sense once one is clear on his stance. Forest makes his support for offshore drilling known on his official website:
Dan Forest hopes North Carolinians will have the opportunity to develop on-shore energy production through the shale plays in our basins and explore the substantial energy resources in the waters off the North Carolina coast. With the appropriate rules and regulations in place, this exploration can be done safely and with great benefit to the economy and citizens of North Carolina.
Though it’s certainly not the first time that he has indicated his support for offshore drilling:
The Sanford Herald reported, “Forest also said he wants North Carolina to become the first energy-independent state, which he said could be done through hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas and offshore drilling for oil.” [3/14/13]
Forest has also defended fracking and described it as a “safe procedure” that has “never contaminated a drinking well” — a claim debunked years ago. [News & Observer, 3/5/14]