Last year, tourism revenue in Brunswick County alone amounted to 5 billion dollars. The looming threat of drilling for oil off the North Carolina coast could have a devastating effect on those future dollars. Catastrophic spills and blowouts like the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, which negatively impacted tourism in the Gulf states for years, are very real possibilities. In addition, offshore drilling produces countless forms of pollution that greatly impacts marine animals and wildlife. Not only our coastal communities, but our state relies heavily on tourism dollars each year.
Offshore oil reserves do not have the impact on oil prices or our reliance on foreign oil that many proponents believe there to be. What they do impact, and negatively, is our environment and our clean air and water. I oppose seismic blasting and offshore drilling, and if I am elected to the NC House, I will support alternative solutions like creating clean energy and green jobs in solar and wind industries.
Our coast is being threatened by the possibility of offshore oil drilling. Drilling that is supported by members of our legislature, including my opponent, who count oil and chemical companies among their biggest donors.
There are currently 210 drilling rigs operating off the shores of the United States. Every year since 1969, there have been at least 44 major oil spills, defined as spills of 10,000 barrels or more. By extension, this means that there is better than a one in five chance of a major spill occurring at or around any one of those oil rigs in any given year. Put another way, over a decade, the odds of experiencing at least one major oil spill related to the operation of any offshore oil rig are very close to certain.
My opponent refuses to address the Brunswick County Board of Commission's refusal to support a resolution opposing offshore drilling. As your next representative, I will be an active voice against this potential disaster.
Hurricane Florence was a reminder of nature's power. As our planet continues to heat up, we are witnessing a sharp rise in both the number and the intensity of these natural occurrences. Sadly, the response by our elected officials has been indifference. As other nations work together to toughen standards, leaders in our state and in Washington focus their efforts on rolling back regulations put in place to stave off environmental catastrophe.
Our planet's future is in our hands. We must elect representatives who recognize the urgency of climate change and will do whatever it takes to mitigate its destructive potential. It is our responsibility to ensure that future generations inherit a clean, safe planet.
Clean water is the most essential natural resource for the citizens of Brunswick County and all of North Carolina. For too many years, the leadership in Raleigh has looked the other way as big business donors put profit over protecting our drinking water. Giving the “green light” to discharge harmful pollutants in the state’s streams and rivers has resulted in Brunswick County having some of the most polluted drinking water in N.C.
Thanks to the Republican state legislators, including my opponent, polluters are not being held accountable for their actions and residents are left cleanup.
How does this effect you?
A clean environment is a healthy environment. Imagine what an oil spill that soils our beaches would do to our local economy. Imagine how many jobs have been lost to companies who have passed over our region due to environmental concerns. But most important, isn't it time to consider our legacy and the kind of planet we hand over to future generations?