North Carolina is growing by the day, making it more important now than ever before that our state has a comprehensive, environmentally responsible strategy in place to ensure every corner of the state has access to efficient and affordable energy. Employing a forward-thinking, “all-of-the-above” energy strategy will diversify available energy sources and make it possible to power our competitive economy in the years to come. Improving access to renewables, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear is critical, as each of these sources are necessary to meeting our state’s growing energy needs.
This broad vision for North Carolina’s energy future can only be achieved if we remain committed to exploring opportunities and advancing those that will produce the energy we need. Last week, one such means of exploration was the subject of heated debate, as the merits of seismic testing and offshore oil drilling in the federal waters off of North Carolina’s coast came under fire. Just as renewables are essential to North Carolina’s future energy portfolio, so too is oil. In order to have informed conversations over how to cultivate the resource, the necessary exploration and research must be conducted to determine what energy resources are even available. Without exploration, North Carolina could miss out an opportunity to diversify its energy sources and further secure its economic future.
Not only would exploration advance an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, but it would also benefit economic development in Eastern North Carolina. The direct and indirect job creation alone will help bolster North Carolina’s competitive economy, while developing a skilled workforce to build one of the best energy sectors in the nation. The NC Chamber will continue to encourage state leaders to pursue a comprehensive, environmentally responsible energy production strategy and we look forward to engaging in a productive dialogue on energy exploration in North Carolina.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber