Charlotte Observer - N.C. Should Lead Way in Energy Exploration
High gas and energy prices are bruising our state's manufacturing, farming and tourism industries and hurting North Carolinians' ability to provide for their families. Meanwhile, many Raleigh politicians close the door on common-sense solutions.
I support a balanced conservation and energy policy that would seek environmentally friendly energy sources, invest in research for alternative fuels and explore for energy off our coast. This will help us become energy-independent and transform North Carolina's economy.
As the Observer's Mary C. Schulken noted, ["Want prosperity? Drill for knowledge," July 17 Viewpoint], Eastern North Carolina has higher unemployment and a lower per capita income than the rest of the state. Improving education is critical to bridging this socioeconomic divide. So is creating high-wage jobs, improving infrastructure and encouraging economic development - especially in the east, where the divide is painfully wide and the road to prosperity is full of dead ends.
While the effects of high energy costs exacerbate the problems, energy exploration offers a solution.