I thought it was a good idea to provide an update since it had been a year since we last mentioned offshore drilling, as it relates to the Outer Banks. But then the exciting news came, after I had started writing this, of the Administration’s reversal in the plan to not include the Atlantic as a leasing option. The big talk on the Outer Banks was still all about #NotTheAnswer or #NotTheAnswerNC or #KilltheDrill up until March 15. The local Surfrider Chapter continued to make a lot of noise and was still making national news about saying no to offshore drilling for the Atlantic. The National Chapter really saw this issue as an important one as it ties directly to Surfrider’s mission and came on board with the Not the Answer campaign. Their campaign included a surfboard being passed around to local businesses starting in Florida and it moved up the East Coast ending up with over 1,000 signatures to show that they oppose offshore drilling. That signed surfboard was hand delivered to DC this past February. Well, it seems that the Obama Administration noticed all the opposition and on March 15 the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced a revised proposal for the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022 which removed the mid and south Atlantic lease sales. They elaborated that the removal of these areas makes sense since the revised proposal focuses leases in areas with the highest potential, greatest industry interest and where there is already established infrastructure.
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.