Evaluating the Potential for Offshore Oil and Gas Production in North Carolina
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Recurring energy and economic crises promote legislation and government action focused on the development of domestic energy sources to alleviate foreign dependency and create jobs for a rising percentage of unemployed Americans. Within the past year regulatory changes produced the potential for oil and gas production along the outer continental shelf of North Carolina. Exploring the history of development and recognizing existing mandates aid in understanding the full range of issues involved in the offshore leasing and production process. Examining the six steps of a complete production cycle allows for the outline of activities to provide a clear timeline for the risk of various impacts. Development procedures along the North Carolina outer continental shelf could significantly alter the economic and environmental conditions of coastal communities. Potential impacts are not limited to benefits for the economy and risks for the environment but include trade-offs within each sector. In striving for effective and successful management of offshore resources, emphasis should be placed on finding a balance between growth and stability. Future research action should emphasize environmental risks and feasibility analysis with a focus on understanding socioeconomic aspects of development. This compilation of necessary information will provide interested stakeholders an available framework for evaluating offshore energy projects using a policy for endorsing responsible and appropriate responses to a national call for offshore oil production. Although development seems to promise economic and energy dependence relief, an increase of detailed information on the conditions of the coastal community and environment will support a determination for best solution to the current crises.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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