Regarding Congressman Richard Hudson’s recent op-ed piece (in The Robesonian, Lumberton) entailing his enthusiastic support for off-shore oil drilling along North Carolina’s coast, I would like to add a few thoughts.
Days after writing this sentence, the Obama Administration reversed course on allowing drilling off Southeast U.S. coast. Overwhelmingly negative feedback from the coast was cited, but the issue is not dead. Strong support for drilling continues among governors and Congress, at least those safely vacationing inland.
Hudson said, in effect, that if you stick a straw anywhere along our coast that oil will gush out showering us with jobs and riches. There is no evidence for this, because there has been no conclusive testing.
Estimates are that more than 3 billion barrels of oil and perhaps even more gas lie offshore from New Jersey to Florida. Similar or more optimistic claims were made for the Artic, but Shell recently pulled back altogether after towing a drilling platform out.
The Southeast is not the Artic. Geologists say the Southeast is not the Gulf of Mexico, either, while Hudson gives us a hard sales pitch with the best possible scenario. This pie-in-the-sky approach is unrealistic but purposeful if you’re selling something.
The congressman’s tone also flies in the face of the ongoing, steep oil and gas price declines, which has shut down thousands of existing wells and chilled exploration. An honest analysis would be welcome, whether you’re for or against drilling off our coast. We deserve better from our leaders.