Offshore Drilling

Offshore drilling: Unpredictable benefits, known risks

Republican legislators did everything but pull teeth to get Mike Walden to give a rosy picture about offshore drilling. Much to my surprise, he didn't.

Republicans on the committee pushed Walden to say the outlook could be brighter if it turns out North Carolina has more oil and natural gas than estimated. Rep. Trudy Wade of Greensboro cited North Dakota's low unemployment rate and high average salaries amid that state's oil boom, and asked Walden if the same thing couldn't happen here.

"I do not foresee that kind of economic boom in North Carolina," Walden replied.

On the other hand, Walden conceded Sen. Buck Newton's point that if the state has more natural gas offshore than expected, the job picture would improve by that amount. "That's fair, as a first cut," the professor said.

Concerns raised about seismic testing for offshore drilling

Devastation before the first drill bit descends:

But one environmental group warns that damage to marine life from seismic air guns probing for pockets of oil and gas would mean bigger losses for commercial and recreational fisheries, tourism and coastal recreation.

“Seismic airgun testing isn’t simply a method of surveying a coastal area for its energy potential,” Oceana said in a statement after the review was issued. “The blasts from seismic airguns are 100,000 times more intense than a jet plane engine and are emitted every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for weeks and months at a time. “It’s disruptive, destructive, and directly threatens the survival of marine creatures like dolphins, whales, and turtles.”

It's doubtful these issues will raise concerns amongst the "drill baby drill" crowd, who have seldom acknowledged their responsibility for safeguarding the lesser creatures in the food chain. But the rest of us should be very concerned.

President accosted by strange man claiming to be Governor

An anonymous source on the security detail was quoted, "Look, these things happen from time to time, we can't be everywhere. Heads will roll."

“In the short time I had on the tarmac I took advantage of every minute,” McCrory said in an interview at N.C. State University, where he attended Obama’s speech. “I talked about wanting to build a relationship with the White House in dealing with complex issues from unemployment to Medicaid to food stamps and also offshore drilling.”

“He immediately, to his credit, introduced me to his energy secretary and I’m setting up a meeting in February with the energy secretary with other governors to explore and hopefully move forward offshore drilling, at least for natural gas off our coast,” McCrory continued.

At which point Secretary Moniz gave the President a dark look and said, "Thanks."

Governor McEnergy gets excited, blows a transformer

"Finally! Something I'm slightly less unqualified to talk about."

McCrory said exploration is part of a two-pronged approach to make the energy industry a sector that will help North Carolina come roaring out of the recession. The other, he said, is promoting power generation. Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. is the nation's largest electric power company. McCrory, who previously worked for Duke, said the state needs to look at tax policies that promote power generation.

The governor on Wednesday praised a law passed in 2013 laying out the regulatory framework for building wind farms to create energy. McCrory also said he wants to examine next year the balance between what he called subsidies received to produce renewable energy and the rates charged to consumers.

And when you do, what you'll see is the cost of renewable energy is a tiny fraction of what ratepayers are forced to pay your former(?) employer, compared to CWIP (Construction Work In Progress) and the recent merger fiasco. And when Duke Energy is finally forced to clean up coal ash ponds, they're going to (try to) charge us for that mistake, as well. But with Art Pope pulling your strings, I'm sure none of that will come up.

Martinez misleads his readers, once again

Peppering the pages with irrelevant statistics:

The difference is fossil fuels. Because North Dakota is producing low-cost energy through exploration and extraction of the Bakken shelf, that state has enjoyed the largest job, income and economic growth rates in the nation during the past five years. Compare that with North Carolina during the past four years. Our state, which doesn’t produce a BTU of energy, has been forced to borrow $2.55 billion from the federal government to cover unemployment insurance costs.

No, one of the (many) differences is, North Dakota has a population of just under 700,000, roughly 1/13 of North Carolina's. And when that Bakken plays out, what's North Dakota going to do then? As far as that (embarassingly un-researched) claim about zero production, North Carolina is producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 170 trillion BTU's of clean, renewable energy every year. This part made me bark a laugh:

So this is McCrory's plan to save NC?

At the Oriental Shrine Club in Greensboro last week McCrory told the audience:

“We will create jobs as a government by getting into the energy-exploration business, both offshore and underground.”

President Obama reinstates moratorium on offshore drilling

Which never should have been dropped in the first place:

But the White House, in its latest five-year plan proposal, also intends to place all of the East Coast off limits to exploration, reports The New York Times. The ban on West Coast drilling also would be maintained.

And this is one good reason why these decisions simply cannot be left up to individual states:

President Obama promotes myth about offshore drilling and gas prices

Cross-posted from the Institute for Southern Studies.

With Congress taking action in recent weeks to expand and speed up offshore oil and gas drilling, President Obama used his weekly radio address this past Saturday to weigh in on the matter. Unfortunately, he used his platform to promote a persistent myth about expanded offshore drilling: that it would bring down prices at the gas pump.

NC GOP's "Drill Bill" explored

First, a little uninformed misinformation:

Acknowledging the timing was ironic, a trio of Republican state senators this morning held a news conference to announce they had filed a bill to open up the North Carolina coast to energy drilling. Today is the one-year anniversary of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf Coast.

“But what we did learn from this disaster is we learned from our mistakes,” Rucho said. “The industry has already found ways to make sure that oil exploration and production can be done in a very safe manner.”

Apparently Bob has his Tivo set to record all of BP's tv commercials. (addendum: Read the diary below this for more BP stuff) Okay, let's take a look at the bill itself:

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