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Attorney General Josh Stein: Drilling is not worth the risk

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(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to terminate his plan to allow offshore drilling off the coast of North Carolina. “Thousands of North Carolinians and 30 coastal communities have voiced their opposition to drilling off North Carolina’s shores,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I will do everything I can, including taking legal action, if necessary, to fight on behalf of our people, economy, and natural resources.”

The program would, the letter states, “create multiple problems for nearly everyone who participates in or benefits from our states’ coastal and maritime economies. At a minimum, three million jobs across America depend on the ocean and coastal economy, which generated more than $350 billion in gross domestic prosperity of our states. It also endangers the unique ecologies of our shores and state ocean waters.”

Specifically, in North Carolina, the proposed plan would North Carolina’s coastal tourism industry creates 30,000 jobs and $3 billion in annual revenue. Commercial and recreational fishing support an estimated additional 22,500 jobs and $787 million in revenue each year. Visitors to the Tar Heel coast generated an estimated $650 million in wages and tips.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein led the delegation of 12 attorneys general taking today’s action, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

In addition to today’s action, Attorney General Josh Stein earlier this week contacted the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to voice his opposition to proposed roll back of drilling safety requirements. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill, and the following lengthy rulemaking process that made drilling safer, any changes to effectively weaken safety standards and procedures would be ill-advised and dangerous. The risks of offshore drilling will only be intensified if standards are weakened.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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