As we all know, a serious winter storm barreled up the East coast last week, dropping nearly three feet of snow in areas, cutting off power for some folks and shutting down entire cities. While the Northeast braced for a monumental blizzard, we saw the effects right here in North Carolina, with flight cancellations out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Much like our neighbors to the North battened down and weathered the storm, our economy and energy security have been weathering President Obama’s war on American energy for years. But unlike the snow clouds that passed and made way for sunshine, President Obama’s policies continue to cast a shadow on domestic energy exploration. Under the President’s moratorium on American energy is a vast potential of lower costs, more jobs and economic security that remain untapped.
I have been a staunch advocate for getting North Carolina into the energy business and have urged the Administration to significantly expand the area available for energy development to include the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. As Co-Chair of the Atlantic Offshore Energy Caucus, I have worked to advance an all-of-the-above energy strategy that cuts through burdensome regulations and responsibly unlocks our natural resources. I’m pleased that this week, the Administration heeded our requests and announced a proposal to allow offshore natural gas and oil exploration off the Atlantic coast. I support opening up our coast to drilling, but I understand that the President’s radical ideology on climate change threatens the success of this proposal.
North Carolina is on the cusp of unlocking our own natural resources, creating thousands of jobs and boosting our economy at home through offshore drilling. There are potentially vast resources off our coastline. The challenge does not lie in finding these resources, but in man-made government regulatory hurdles that prohibit us from allocating the time and investment to develop them. Opening up the Atlantic to oil and natural gas drilling has the potential to support more than 55,000 jobs in North Carolina, and it could contribute nearly $3 billion in new revenue. One only needs to look at states like North Dakota to see the positive impact that domestic exploration has on a region and the lives of people who live there. It has the potential to keep energy costs low for families and businesses and empower manufacturers to grow. It will boost our infrastructure development, revitalize our factories and create new jobs and opportunities across our state.
While the Administration’s plan is a welcome first step, it doesn’t go far enough to fully explore and develop coastal energy right now. We should implement a more robust plan that offers more than one potential lease sale off of the Atlantic coast. I can assure you that I will be vigilant and work to guarantee that North Carolina and the eighth district benefit from drilling off our coasts, from creating construction jobs, to attracting new manufacturers. My top three priorities are jobs, jobs and jobs, and I pledge I will continue to work to create an environment for more opportunity and prosperity.
If we move forward in a smart and environmentally sound way, we can unlock energy offshore while protecting industries vital to North Carolina. Norway is a prime example that offshore energy exploration and development is compatible with the environment and other industries. The fishing industry and the oil and gas industry have safely and successfully coexisted since 1971, with both industries contributing greatly to the Norwegian economy. I’m committed to matching that record of success in North Carolina and making sure that energy off our coast is pursued in an environmentally responsible way. North American energy security, lower costs, and more jobs are within reach, and I’m committed to making those goals a reality.
Until next week,
Member of Congress (NC-08)
Visit Congressman Richard Hudson’s website here: http://hudson.house.gov