Posted September 8, 2016
Here’s a key point about energy and North Carolina: The Mid-Atlantic outer continental shelf (OCS) off the state’s coast (also off the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware coasts) is estimated to hold 2.41 billion barrels of oil and 24.63 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) – more than half of the oil and more than 60 percent of the natural gas to be found on the entire Atlantic OCS.
Click on the thumbnail to view a two-page energy infographic for the Tar Heel State.
Unfortunately, that energy is off limits to safe offshore development – part of the 87 percent of federal offshore acreage where development is barred. BOEM is finalizing its 2017-2022 offshore leasing program, a draft version of which only included one proposed Atlantic lease sale.
Keeping offshore energy under wraps hinders U.S. security and blocks states like North Carolina from realizing the job and economic benefits that could come with safe development. North Carolinians recognize the potential benefits for their state as well as the nation, 64 percent of registered state voters saying they support offshore development.
North Carolina otherwise lacks oil and natural gas production of its own and relied on nuclear for 32.6 percent of its generated electricity and coal for 31.4 percent in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Overall, coal, gasoline, natural gas and nuclear electric power are the top fuels used by North Carolina.
Offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico and other places where it’s allowed is a big reason the U.S. leads the world in oil and natural gas output. Opening more of the federal offshore to safe exploration and development is part of a pro-energy path that could produce broad benefits to our country, which are detailed on Page 2 of the infographic.
Energy is essential for virtually every aspect of our daily lives. It powers national, state and local economies, gets us to work and goes into products we rely on for health and comfort. Safe, responsible energy development here at home is linked to national security as well as Americans’ individual prosperity and liberty – in North Carolina and all the 50 states of energy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.