MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) There’s new reaction about the North Carolina coast’s future.
Carteret County commissioners approved an offshore drilling resolution Monday in favor of seismic testing, despite concerns.
The commissioners voted four to two in favor of the seismic testing and offshore drilling in an attempt to support Governor Pat McCrory’s push for job creation and boosting the economy.
WNCT reached out to all seven commissioners who did not get back to us, but folks who attend these meetings regularly say the board did not listen to the desires of those they represent.
With the vote, Carteret County breaks away from other areas along the coast that oppose the drilling.
These include Morehead City, Atlantic Beach and most recently, the Tourism Development Authority.
With tourism as the backbone of Carteret County, marine scientists and oceanographers say the potential for spills is just too risky.
“In terms of our economy here it is definitely tourism-based and with the hydrodynamics, the gulf stream coming in so close to our shores, if there were an off-shore oil spill who’s to say where that oil would go,” said Janelle Fleming, an oceanographer.
“More than likely it would come straight to our beaches which would drastically affect the commercial tourism here.”
Fleming says other alternatives such as off shore wind energy would be a safer and more effective move.
If seismic testing applications are approved on the federal level, crews could start work next summer.
Folks in the community say they will continue to stand behind their efforts to stop off shore drilling along the coast of North Carolina.