“The following is reprinted with permission from the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS®”
Last month, the Outer Banks Home Builders Association Board of Directors approved a position on the issue of offshore drilling and natural gas exploration. The resolution below, signed by President Skip Jones, has been shared with several organizations and elected officials:
Whereas, The Outer Banks Homebuilders Association (herein the OBHBA) is a professional trade organization dedicated to “Promoting and Preserving the Integrity and Value of the Home Building Community”; and
Whereas, the members of OBHBA derive direct and indirect income, well-being and benefit from visitors who become customers initially drawn through tourism. Without the pristine preservation of this environment we lose tourism, and in turn lose opportunities to build or perform related business in this geographic area that contains two National Parks, one State Park, numerous National, State, and private wildlife refuges and preserves and is entirely bordered by public trust waters; and
Whereas, the members of OBHBA understand there are potential catastrophic risks inherent in the process for exploration and mining of natural gas or oil, which could negatively impact recreational and professional activities, and overall appeal to our area; and
Whereas, the OBHBA nor our State and local community leaders have been given any disclosures or plans for spill contingencies, proper disposal of drilling fluids, toxic mud, cuttings, highly poisonous drilling wastes and byproducts, and believe there are few plans in existence for the project on the North Carolina Outer Continental Shelf; and
Whereas, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 leaked 205.8 million gallons of crude oil contaminating 1100 linear miles of coastline negatively impacted tourism and fishing industries to this day from the perception of contamination; and
Whereas, The State of North Carolina, Dare, Currituck and Hyde Counties, including our local municipalities are offered no promise of jobs, policy changes, infrastructure improvements or revenue of any kind from the proposed exploration and drilling activities; and
Whereas the OBHBA, State and local officials do not know of any need to expand mining for fossil fuels to the North Carolina Coast for the benefit of National economic crisis, fuel shortage or posed risks to National security at this time; and
Whereas the OBHBA is affiliated with the National Home Builders Association and the North Carolina Home Builders Association and together have been responsible stewards of business, policy and the balance of nature and development in response to the benefit of their members; and
Whereas, the OBHBA as a professional trade organization, understand cost to benefit ratios and see no value to endorse an endeavor like Oil and Natural Gas exploration and mining off our coast that proposes all risk and no reward to our membership; and
Whereas, BOEM, MMS, and DOI and the President of the United States ultimately control the decision to risk our livelihood, and have significant control of resources and policies which could affect our area in beneficial ways (i.e. mining sand for our beaches, providing dredging permits and activities, providing updated navigational aids, complete access to our National Parks, hunting and fishing regulations, etc.) and have a long history of neglecting our interests or needs based on our small population while ignoring our beneficial tax contributions and seasonal population increases and infrastructure needs; and
Whereas, the OBHBA has been a leader in local issues affecting our industry and members, and welcomes the opportunity to lead, discuss, facilitate, mediate, negotiate, and inform other pro-business groups or community leaders of any benefits being offered to our region in order to balance the current cost to benefit ratio of exploration activities on our coast.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, The Board of Directors of the OBHBA, on behalf of its members, urges all coastal region local governments, all local community organizations, The State of North Carolina, The Governor and General Assembly, all Federal Representatives and Congressmen to reject the idea of OCS oil and gas exploration and mining off the North Carolina Coast until we have agreements in force to substantially improve and ensure benefits to our region to balance the severity of risks BOEM, MMS, DOI wish to impose on our community, economy and environment.
Offshore Drilling Forum THIS FRIDAY: The NC Coastal Federation is holding a forum on Offshore Drilling this Friday, July 31st from 9 am to 4:30 pm at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. The day-long event will feature many speakers and presentations covering such topics as the environmental and economic implications of offshore drilling/exploration, oil and gas industry infrastructure and NC’s assessment on the issue.
For more information and to register for “Offshore drilling: Are the risks worth the rewards?”
OBAR/OBHBA Government Affairs Liaison Willo Kelly will be a panelist during a “Pulse of the Coast” discussion during the forum.