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

New plan puts North Carolina in the crosshairs for offshore oil drilling and exploration

Raleigh, NC- Today, Secretary Sally Jewel and the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) released the five-year draft plan for offshore oil drilling, and North Carolina is front and center.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

Commission approves final fracking rules, leaves public comment out

Raleigh, NC.- After just three meetings of deliberation, the Mining and Energy Commission finalized its package of 120 rules to govern fracking, the controversial driling technique that could begin in North Carolina as soon as May of next year. Commissioners made few changes to reflect the more than 217,000 public comments they received.
“These rules are a totally inadequate, and the process by which they've been rushed through to adoption is irresponsible," said Liz Kazal, Environment North Carolina field associate. “These rules make clear that the only way to truly protect our air and water is to keep fracking out of the state.”

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

More Than 50,000 North Carolinians tell Governor McCrory: Ban Fracking.

RALEIGH, NC- More than thirty environmental and social justice groups came together on Tuesday to deliver over 50,000 petitions to Governor Pat McCrory calling on him to reinstate the ban on fracking.

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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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