McCrory: House Energy Bill Bad for North Carolina'
Legislation would prohibit drilling within 50 miles of coast and prevent states from collecting royalties
Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican nominee for governor, today condemned a bill passed Tuesday night by the U.S. House that would permanently ban offshore drilling within 50 miles of the coast and prohibit states from collecting royalties.
The legislation would restrict exploration and production of 88 percent of American oil resources beneath the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This would prohibit drilling in the Manteo Project, which is located 45 miles off of North Carolina's coast. Studies indicate that this area could contain as much as 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas which is equivalent to 833 billion barrels of oil.
"This is a very bad bill for North Carolina," said McCrory. "The House has passed a bill to drill where there is virtually no oil. It's about time we drill where our resources are."
McCrory responded by calling on the North Carolina Congressional Delegation to support legislation permitting the state to explore and produce oil and gas within 50 miles of the coast and collect a share of the revenue. Below is the text of McCrory's letter to members of the Delegation:
"I am writing to urge you to support legislation that will give North Carolina the ability to allow oil and gas exploration and production in its adjacent waters, grant the state a share of the royalties collected by the federal government on OCS production in North Carolina adjacent waters and help lower gasoline and diesel prices across the state.
"As you know, North Carolinians have faced tremendous difficulties this year as a result of the skyrocketing prices of gasoline and diesel. Gasoline prices over $4.00 per gallon and diesel prices over $4.75 have forced North Carolina businesses to cut back services or go out of business, have hammered North Carolina farmers and have hit North Carolina families at a time when they can least afford to pay twice as much to get from home to work, school and the grocery store.
"In order to bring relief at the pump to the families, farms and businesses of North Carolina, I have announced my support for a program that would allow North Carolina to opt out of the federal moratorium on OCS exploration and production and receive a 37.5 percent share of any royalties collected by the federal government for production in North Carolina's adjacent waters.
"Access to all offshore oil and natural gas supplies - as soon as all necessary environmental protections have been put in place - is now more important than ever. Federal offshore waters hold the greatest potential for finding and bringing new energy resources to market in the next five to ten years. The MMS estimates that there are currently 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas technically recoverable from all federal offshore areas.
"As a North Carolinian who feels the pinch of skyrocketing energy prices, I believe that sensible legislation by Congress to lift restrictions on offshore development and provide states with a fair share of revenues derived from production off their coasts will play a critical role in creating a robust national energy policy, securing our energy future and significantly strengthening the North Carolina economy.
"Because North Carolinians need relief at the pump - and because our nation needs to reduce our dangerous dependence on imported oil - I urge you to support legislation that will give North Carolina the opportunity to opt out of the federal OCS moratorium and receive a share of royalty revenues."