We are residents of North Carolina who have enjoyed our beaches and barrier islands for the last 19 years. Oil drilling would be highly detrimental to the delicate marine mammal habitats of our coast, as well as a threat to the tourism industry and ancient deepwater coral reefs. Seismic airgun blasts used in oil exploration disrupt mating and feeding and cause beach strandings and deaths of whales and dolphins. The endangered right whales frequent our coastline, and five of the seven endangered species of sea turtles nest on our beaches; species which would be adversely affected by oil drilling.
An oil spill such as the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico would devastate tourism and fisheries along the coast. We have the largest glut of oil production in 27 years, and there is no need to place our coastal waters at such risk. The world has been implementing alternatives such as solar and wind energy, and oil exploration and drilling has become less economically viable.
Karen and Kevin McGrew
‘Take them down’
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My son asked why North Carolina, our home, has Confederate statues on the Capitol grounds and I could think of no justifiable reason. Yes people lost their lives on both the Confederate and Union side, and perhaps we should acknowledge that, but not with Confederate statues memorializing hate and oppression. It is time to take them down. North Carolina needs to learn from the events in Charlottesville, Va. It is time to show unity and move past America’s ugly history to a brighter future.
Fair districts needed
Some of my ancestors took up arms to fight for government which was fair to all the residents. My fourth and fifth great-grandfathers were regulators back in the 18th century. They fought the colonial government, not to change the form of their government, but simply to make the colony’s political process more equal. They wanted better economic conditions for everyone, instead of a system that benefited colonial officials.
If my ancestors came back today they would be asking why our legislature spent $4.8 million of taxpayers’ money defending an illegal plan rather than drafting maps for North Carolina following the practices used in those states whose districts have been declared legal. The legislature’s revised maps were released to the public only two weeks before the deadline for submitting them to the court. The litigants who are challenging the new maps will have to scramble to determine whether or not the redrafted maps are legal.
If the court decides that the new maps are no better than the old maps, then I hope the court will select nonpartisan experts to draft a redistricting plan which is legal. The result will be one my regulator ancestors fought for – the state’s political process will be more equal.