Pat McCrory, Governor of North Carolina and chairman of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, reiterated his support for Outer Continental Shelf energy development yesterday at a workshop in downtown Raleigh’s Nature Research Center.
“Exploring the potential oil and gas reserves located in the Outer Continental Shelf will solidify North Carolina’s position as an energy leader and drive us to energy independence,” Governor McCrory said.
“Our power generation is becoming more dependent on natural gas as a fuel source. Increasing availability of natural gas will strengthen our economy and contribute to economic prosperity for decades to come.”
The governor took part in a Q&A session, which was open to the media, on the topic with Dr. Donald van der Vaart, energy policy adviser and deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Department Secretary John Skvarla also took part in the program.
During the Q&A, Governor McCrory stressed that both environmental protections and revenue sharing are necessary for production to take place.
“The largest employment impact of Atlantic OCS oil and natural gas activity is projected in the Mid-Atlantic States of North and South Carolina and Virginia,” the governor continued.
Governor McCrory cited information from the Quest Offshore Resources that points toward dramatic economic benefits from OCS gas and oil development for the state.
Utilizing the oil/natural gas reserves likely off NC’s coast could add billions to our economy. https://t.co/wsLxNg1Wrp
— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) November 6, 2014
The impact to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia combined by 2035 would be 116,000 jobs, $56 billion in cumulative spending, $9 billion annually and $9.5 billion from revenue sharing. The numbers are based off of previous estimates of offshore resources. BOEM recently increased estimates for the Mid-Atlantic.
Van der Vaart and Governor McCrory discussed revenue sharing in depth, mentioning the need to split revenue between the federal government, the state and coastal communities.
There are risks
Addressing the need for environmental precautions, the governor noted that responsible resource development is in everyone’s best interest. He acknowledged there are risks associated with any type of economic and energy development and that a significant amount of investment would be needed to provide the support facilities and processing capacity required for development and production.
The Q&A session also covered the governor’s role as chairman of the Offshore Continental Shelf Governors Coalition; continued efforts to pass equitable revenue sharing legislation in Congress; and the development of a responsible “Five Year Program” that includes lease sales in all unleased areas that have state support, including the mid-Atlantic planning area, the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea planning areas (Alaska) and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.