Govo. Easley Says Drilling off Virginia Coast Could Hurt N.C.

(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)

Don't always agree with Governor Easley. Not always impressed with him. But he has been kicking ass on the environment, first with his opposition to the sale of the National Forests. Now this.

There is an offshore drilling moratorium for the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts that isn't set to expire until 2012. However, there are some special interests in Virginia that want to see that overturned much sooner.

Governor Mike Easley (D-NC) opposes overturning the moratorium. Im glad he recognizes that overturning the ban would hurt the fragile ecosystems of Albermarle and Pamlico Sounds, the Outer Banks, and the entire Atlantic Coast of NC.
From the News-Observer:

"While it is clear that the United States must become more energy independent, such independence must not come at the cost of the fragile ecosystems and vital tourism economy of our coast," Easley said in a statement quoting a letter he wrote

The ban remains very popular, but as we saw earlier this year while working on the Virginia Clean Smokestacks Act, the power companies that control the state and the Legislature don't care too much about the people or environment of Virginia. Governor Easley wisely has started to speak up before VA power companies could really get the ball rolling on this.

Given North Carolina's support for the moratorium and concern about the effect of drilling, "I respectfully request that you remove any sale off the Virginia coast from consideration," Easley wrote to the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of Interior as it collects comment on its proposed oil and gas leasing program for 2007-12.

(A little more history here)


Many people don't realize

that more than half of the eastern seaboard fish species spawn in the Pamlico-Albemarle sounds . . . and that those fisheries are already under enormous stress from stormwater mismanagement in North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. And now they want to risk the potential for ecological disaster along the coast so we could get another year or two of fossil fuel? Until we exhaust every other alternative (like having a Congress with the balls to raise CAFE standards), why even consider such a risky move?


...thats an unbelievable stat about the fish. Holy shit!

The outer banks and the sounds are truly a national treasure.


...In Virginia the utilities - AEP/Dominion/etc. control everything.

Take this example...
Here in NC we wrote and passed the "Clean Smokestacks Act." It is one of -if not THE - strongest air qulity law in the country in regards to pointsource (smokestack) pollution.
It passed the NCGA in 2002 with just five dissenting votes.

We brought up a similar bill in Virginia this session. Did some great grassroots work, had a kickass target list, etc. In committee, the bill was hijacked by industry, who added bsix bad amendments to the bill. Even our champions then voted this bad bill out of committee. It was a terrible terrible sight.

Virginia on the state level is DOMINATED by the Republicans and the corportions to which they are beholden.

Roadless Areas

Easley also recently petitioned to stop any development in some roadless areas in North Carolina mountains.