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Speak your mind on offshore drilling in N.C.

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Mix business and pleasure at the beach next week, when the state Senate Subcommittee on Offshore Energy Exploration holds a public comment session on, yeah, you guessed it, drilling for oil and natural gas off the North Carolina coast.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, at UNC-Wilmington, Computer Information Systems Building, Room 1008. The event begins at 10 a.m.; the public comment portion starts at 3 p.m.

The committee's interim report (PDF, 1.7 MB), published earlier this year, found there are significant natural gas—and wind energy—resources offshore. While most of the discussion has centered on generating revenue from gas exploration, the report notes that North Carolina is one of a few states where offshore wind development "could produce a significant proportion of the state's energy needs."

The subcommittee's Web site also contains meeting minutes and reports on the environmental and ecological impacts of offshore drilling, with examples from the Exxon Valdez disaster and exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. Download the reports below.

The 24-member subcommittee was appointed by the Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney. It includes academics from N.C. State, Duke and UNC; energy company officials from Piedmont Natural Gas and the Petroleum Council; a representative of the Environmental Defense Fund; and scientists from state agencies, including the N.C. Division of Coastal Management.

N.C. Senate Subcommittee on Offshore Energy Exploration reports:

 

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