Environment North Carolina
Sydney Bouchelle

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A new report was released Wednesday about the potential onshore risks of offshore drilling.

Environment North Carolina Wildlife Defense Campaign Director Jean-Luc Duvall says offshore drilling relies on onshore pipelines, waste disposal facilities, ports and refineries that pollute our air and water as well as threaten wildlife and ecosystems.

He explains how it could negatively impact our backyards.

“We want to visit clean beaches, smell the ocean breeze, and admire the marine life of our coast,” Duvall said. “Not avoid pipelines, choke on pollution from oil refineries, and contend with oil barges.”

North Carolina House Representative Deb Butler referenced a past tragedy associated with offshore drilling.

“We’ve seen the damage of Deepwater Horizon..and we want no part of it,” Butler said.

She went on to say North Carolina should focus on cleaner energy alternatives.

“Our oceans are warming..our sea is rising,” Butler said. We are feeling the effects of climate change. It is real. It is here. It is now.”

She also says not just our earth would feel effects, our state alone would face damaging economic impacts. Offshore drilling projects could threaten 57,000 jobs and over 2.5 billion dollars in gross domestic product.

“This is where North Carolina draws that proverbial line in the sand and says ‘not here, not now, not ever,'” Butler said.

The owner of the Blockade Runner Mary Baggett Martin summed up offshore drilling.

“We stand for something stronger,” Martin said. “That’s what this country is about, that’s what North Carolina is about, and that’s what Wrightsville Beach is about.”

Congressman David Rouzer has supported offshore drilling in the past. We have reached out to his office for a statement and have not yet heard back.

You can read the full report here.