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

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.”

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Norht Carolina

A Toxic Cocktail: Fracking Chemical Disclosure Laws On Today’s Agenda

As the future of fracking in North Carolina hangs in the balance, the Mining and Energy Commission, the regulatory body that will decide how fracking is regulated should it be allowed in the state, met today to discuss rules on disclosing toxic chemicals that are used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

“The use of toxic, and even cancer- causing, chemicals is just the reality of fracking,” said Liz Kazal, field associate with Environment North Carolina. “Disclosing what toxic chemicals used during the process will not do anything to actually protect the people of North Carolina from chemical exposure; the best way to protect our drinking water is to avoid pumping these toxic chemicals into the ground in the first place. That’s why we support a permanent ban on fracking.”

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Report | Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center

Fracking by the Numbers

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States.

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News Release | Environment Norht Carolina

Fracking by the Numbers: New Report First to Quantify Threat of Gas Drilling

Raleigh, NC — As Governor McCrory and members of N.C. General Assembly continue pushing to open up North Carolina to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a new report by the Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center called “Fracking by the Numbers” highlights the risks to North Carolina if the current moratorium on fracking is lifted.

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News Release | Environment North Carolina

N.C. General Assembly Earns a Failing Grade on the Environment

RALEIGH, NC- Nearly two-thirds of the Senate—32 members in total—earned a failing grade this year on standing up for the environment, according to Environment North Carolina’s 2013 legislative scorecard released today.  The grades reflect another year of radical attacks on the state’s air, water and open space protections by N.C. senators.

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