Message from the President
Chamber Board opposes exploration for oil & gas and seismic blasting
The Board of Directors of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce voted September 5 to formally oppose the exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean off of the North Carolina coast.
Although the Chamber Board advocates residential, business and commercial development that is totally and fully compatible with our water-based economy to the benefit of tourism and maritime interests along the Crystal Coast, the risks associated with drilling far exceed any potential rewards to the nation, state and county.
Furthermore, the Chamber Board believes that “offshore exploration for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean and associated seismic blasting represent direct threats to the coastal environment of North Carolina, due to the potential for pollution and other harmful effects to marine mammals, turtles, fish, migratory birds and other aquatic life.”
The Chamber’s Resolution states: “Economic sustainability of Carteret County is directly dependent on visitors who come from all over the world to enjoy the natural beauty of our clean Crystal Coast beaches, to visit the undisturbed wilderness area of Cape Lookout National Seashore and to explore the sounds, marshes, wetlands, estuaries, rivers, creeks and streams that abound in Carteret County.”
“Many of these natural areas provide sanctuary and nesting/breeding grounds for diverse groups of wildlife, having intrinsic ecological value.
“Our coastal waters are prime commercial and recreational fisheries, and coastal natural habitats provide the world with some of the best wild-caught seafood, renowned for its freshness and exceptional quality.”
Weather events earlier this month associated with formation and movement of Hurricane Joaquin heighten our appreciation of the coastal environment as a desirable destination for vacationers…and underscore the fragility of our coastal geography to the elements of nature.
“Estimated revenues from offshore drilling and the benefits to the State of North Carolina pale in comparison to the proven and anticipated growth of revenues that are directly attributed to coastal North Carolina’s tourism and fishing industries.
“The inherent serious risks to our region from offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling have the potential to irrevocably harm and destroy our natural environment, our economic well-being, our overall quality of life and the health and safety of residents and visitors,” the Chamber’s Resolution stated.
The Chamber believes that “the commercial petroleum industry, to include drilling, extraction, collection and transportation of offshore oil and gas resources, is neither complementary nor compatible with Carteret County’s water-based economy.”