Robert George: Drilling the facts

April 29, 2014 

Regarding the April 27 Point of View “ Getting ahead of ourselves on oil drilling”: I concur with the conclusion of my former colleague Lawrence Cahoon that: “Offshore oil and gas production is years away for North Carolina and likely never to be significantly productive at all.”

Nevertheless, he is making some misleading statements that call for clarification.

Although North Carolina’s two ports may not be used for huge exports (Wilmington and Morehead City ports are not suitable as Norfolk, Va., or Charleston, S.C.), in a decade we may develop Wilmington as a super port, if we so desire to boost the N.C. economy.

Cahoon said, “Profits from oil and gas drilling will go to a federal trust fund and will be distributed to all 50 states in the union.” This is an inaccurate statement. Louisiana benefited more than the other 49 states in getting federal oil and gas trust funds over the years. Also, Louisiana received the most devastating blow to the coastal and deep-water environment in the 2010 BP oil spill. The real irreversible damage to Gulf of Mexico ecosystems are yet to be revealed.

Robert George

Former professor of Biology and Marine Biology, UNCW

Wake Forest

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