Windmills Not Oilspills

The environmental and economic benefits of offshore wind versus offshore drilling in North Carolina
Released by: Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

The winds off North Carolina’s coast powered the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903, and they’ve been going strong ever since.  In fact, just over 100 years after the first flight, converting just a fraction of the winds off our shores to energy could provide all of North Carolina’s energy needs.

North Carolina has more potential for offshore wind than any other Atlantic state.  Combine that with our world-class research institutions and existing green energy incentives, and North Carolina can chart a clean energy future, with offshore wind at the forefront.

Despite our enormous potential for offshore wind energy and the boon it would be for North Carolina’s environment and economy, too many opinion leaders remain focused on promoting energy sources of the past, such as offshore drilling.

This report details the environmental benefits of offshore wind power, documents the risks of drilling off of North Carolina’s prized coast, and compares estimated job creation benefits of pursuing each offshore energy source.

The results are simple:  offshore wind is estimated to create up to three times as many jobs as offshore drilling, without putting the state’s beaches, or its tourism economy, at risk of a devastating spill.

North Carolina policy makers should reject calls for drilling off of our coast, and instead adopt initiatives to speed the development of offshore wind.