As a veteran of the Vietnam War, as someone who was shot at because I proudly wore the flag of the United States of America on my sleeve, it saddens and maddens me to behold the degree to which Americans are now divided. Not since the Civil War has there been such disunion.
At least back then each side – Union and Confederacy – was united within, and there was a clear divide – North and South. Now there are red states and blue states that harbor disdain for each other and resent the mere fact they share a common boundary. Mingled among the reds and the blues is a smattering of purple states, rendered that way by counties that are at odds over their respective degrees of redness (tea party, Freedom Caucus, Evangelicals) or blueness (Blue Dogs, progressives, libertarians).
Shamefully, it seems there currently exists no social, political or economic cause – no issue of shared national pride, passion or patriotism. And this prevailing us vs. them attitude of unbridled animosity is exacerbated by political leaders who scurry through the halls of Congress like bumper cars, desperately trying not to encounter one another for fear they may have to compromise on which side of the corridors each should walk: left or right, but not down the middle.
Reconsider seismic testing
Despite misinformation peddled by opponents, seismic surveys are the best way to safely explore for oil and natural gas offshore, as well as site offshore wind turbines and study the ocean floor. A chief environmental officer with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has stated that claims against seismic surveying are “wildly exaggerated and not supported by the evidence.” Operators take great care to protect wildlife, and four decades of worldwide seismic surveying activity has not resulted in any documented evidence of harm to marine mammals.
As the administration considers new seismic surveys in the Atlantic, it’s important that North Carolinians understand what’s at stake and be able to make informed decisions regarding offshore energy development. North Carolina is uniquely positioned to add jobs and bring in local revenue through energy development, while also contributing to America’s energy security. Energy development can safely coexist with the current tourism and fishing industries while providing much needed diversity for local economies. North Carolina has a chance to join the energy renaissance that has made America a world leader in oil and natural gas production, and gathering new information with seismic surveys is a welcome first step.
Executive director, N.C. Petroleum Council