The big talk on the Outer Banks right now is all about #NotTheAnswer or #NotTheAnswerNC or #KilltheDrill. I have been a member of the Surfrider Foundation for over 15 years now and remain active with our local Outer Banks Chapter (http://outerbanks.surfrider.org; and check out their Facebook page). They are making a lot of noise and making national news by saying no to offshore drilling off the coast of NC. They started a “Clean Beaches = Healthy Businesses” campaign a few years back but since there wasn’t a real risk of offshore drilling being a reality, it didn’t gain too much momentum or press. However, that has significantly changed over the past couple months since Obama agreed to open up federal waters for leasing of off shore plots to oil & gas companies to drill.
The local Surfrider Chapter has really stepped up to this challenge of saying NO and many in the community are agreeing. You see sign marquees of many businesses saying in various ways “to keep our beaches clean” or “say no to big oil”. The main argument that many are saying is economics – we have proven data on tourism money compared to the numbers that we are being told that offshore drilling will bring to our economy. One spill, or even just the stigma related to offshore drilling, can negatively impact our tourist economy which is what most locals make their living from. One spill, think the Gulf Coast, can stop tourism which will kill our local economy. We can not afford to allow this to happen. It also isn’t just a “not in my backyard” stand, it is also about protecting and conserving our coastline which is vital to our lifestyle; about having policies that encourage conservation; have improved energy efficiency and incentives and policies going to renewable or alternative sources for energy for future generations.
This battle is just beginning and you don’t just have to love the Outer Banks to get on board to help. This concern is all along the eastern seaboard. You can start by letting the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) know that they need to protect our coasts from not expanding offshore drilling to the Atlantic. Click here to comment.
Tell them to drop offshore drilling in the Atlantic from their five year oil and gas leasing program. Also, let Congress know as well. You can use this Surfrider link to do so. We had record numbers at the public comment meeting here on March 16 where at least 670 people came to speak out and show their support against drilling. More voices need to continue to be heard! The deadline is March 30, so make your comment personal as to why you do not want this to happen, before it may be too late.