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Friday, April 30, 2010

Cunningham, Lewis & Marshall Oppose Off Shore Drilling

North Carolina U.S. Senate Democratic Candidates Say Off Shore Drilling Is Too Murky

The 3 main N.C. Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Friday morning said the oil spill in the Gulf Coast reinforced their opposition to oil and gas exploration off of North Carolina's coast.

Appearing at a taping of WRAL TV's "On The Record," the Democrats said there were too many risks and too little benefits to off shore exploration, Rob Christensen reports.

In doing so, they broke with the Obama Administration which has taken the first steps to opening up sections of the east coast to exploration.

"I don't think off shore drilling is the right answer for North Carolina," said former state Sen. Cal Cunningham. "Based on all the experts estimates there is not meaningful oil or natural gas off the coast of North Carolina to meet the natural security and economic challenges this country faces."

Ken Lewis, a Chapel Hill attorney, said "there is no compelling evidence" there are large oil or natural gas reserves off the North Carolina coast. Lewis said the country should be focusing on energy alternatives and ways to reduce the carbon foot print.

Secretary of Sate Elaine Marshall said she is also skeptical about the value of drilling off the coast. But she said if the federal government required off shore exploration, that North Carolina would get the best deal in terms of revenue for the state and environmental protections.

"North Carolina needs to drive a hard bargain," Marshall said. The program will air Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

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Sources: McClatchy Newspapers, WRAL, Youtube, Google Maps

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