Updated: Wed 11:42 PM, Jan 28, 2015
Emerald Isle town officials are optimistic and open-minded about the plan, saying the economic benefits could be significant.
The proposed plan will not start leasing space out in the ocean until 2021. It includes our coast, along with South Carolina, Georgia’s coast, about 10 areas in the Gulf of Mexico and three off the coast of Alaska.
It’s something that worries fisherman and environmentalist Mark Hooper.
“We deal with shell fish. I grow clams. Clams are filter feeders. Anything in the water they are going to take up,” says Hooper. “It’s that beautiful seafood that people identify with the coast.”
We asked the North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries about how offshore drilling could impact them, but they said it was too early in the proposal to comment.
For those who oppose the drilling plan, there is a nationwide protest on May 16 called “Hands Across the Sand.” The movement opposes offshore oil drilling and supports alternative clean energy.”