Our barrier islands, under siege

From Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke to Cape Lookout, the Outer Banks are among the nation’s most famous beaches. 

Drawing more than 7 million visitors every year, the Outer Banks and the rest of our barrier islands give us a chance to swim, fish, surf, or catch a glimpse of hatching sea turtles. They also support a thriving fishing and tourist economy.

A renewed push to drill off the Outer Banks

With support from members and supporters, Environment North Carolina helped win temporary protections for our coast from offshore drilling in 2011 until 2017.  But that hasn’t stopped oil companies and the NC General Assembly from promoting drilling even near our most pristine beaches.

They have their sights set off the coast of Cape Hatteras, home to more marine life — including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales — than most places in the world. Ancient deepwater coral reefs off of Wrightsville Beach may also be a target. Given the BP disaster, these are the last places we should allow drilling.

There are some places just too precious to drill. If enough of us come together, we can protect the Outer Banks for future generations.

"Rush to drill" comes to a halt

In June 2011, at the urging of Environment North Carolina and allied groups across the state, then-Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the pro-drilling Senate Bill 709.

The bill, introduced on the one-year anniversary of the Gulf spill by Sen. Bob Rucho, promoted opening North Carolina's Outer Banks and the rest of our fragile coastal areas to oil and gas drilling.  

After repeatedly failing to garner enough votes to override the veto, legislative leaders finally let their drill, baby, drill bill languish—for now. 

We at Environment North Carolina will continue to stand up for our beaches, and press for permanent protections for our coast.

Email the governor today, and join our campaign to protect our beaches.


Oceans updates

News Release | Environment North Carolina

Gov. Pat McCrory ushers in fracking

Raleigh, NC—Fulfilling a foregone conclusion, Gov. Pat McCrory lifted the state's fracking moratorium today, signing into law a contentious bill that will permit the controversial form of drilling as soon as May of 2015.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

N.C. General Assembly lifts fracking moratorium

Raleigh, NC—Permits for fracking could be issued in North Carolina as early as May 2015, according to a measure that cleared the N.C. General Assembly this evening. 

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

N.C. Senate lifts fracking moratorium

Raleigh, NC  -- Fracking would begin in North Carolina as soon as July 2015, according to a bill that cleared the Senate today on a final vote of 36 to 11.  S.B. 786, which sped through two committees on Tuesday and passed its first full vote in the Senate yesterday, lifts the state’s moratorium next summer, but no longer brings jail time for disclosing toxic chemicals.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Senate committees fast-track fracking

Raleigh, NC  -- The state’s moratorium on fracking would be lifted and a complex suite of more than 120 fracking rules would be exempt from meaningful legislative review, according to a measure that cleared two separate Senate committees today in less than four hours.  Under S.B. 786, likely to be voted on by the full Senate on Wednesday, the controversial form of gas drilling would begin as soon as next summer.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Another Meeting, Another Timeline

Raleigh, NC- The Mining and Energy Commission met today to discuss the rules for the controversial drilling practice known as fracking should the technique be allowed in North Carolina. At the meeting, the commission rolled out another new timeline for completing the rules for fracking.

“Our leaders have been trying to fast track fracking in the state since the moment they smelled gas,” said Liz Kazal, field associate with Environment North Carolina. “This is the third time they’ve changed the timeline. They can take a few more months, or a few more years, that still won’t change the fact that fracking still pollutes drinking water and puts our environment at risk.”

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