Two weeks after blocking new offshore oil and gas exploration off the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, President Donald Trump has told officials that he will not allow any new oil and gas exploration off the coast of North Carolina.
The move was hailed on Monday by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who faces a difficult re-election bid in November.
“I want to thank President Trump for including North Carolina in the moratorium and listening to the concerns of North Carolinians on the coast,” Tillis said.
Like the other three states, North Carolina will now be included in an extended moratorium on new offshore oil and gas exploration through the middle of 2032.
Initially, the Trump Administration planned to get rid of administrative restrictions on new offshore oil and gas exploration, arguing it was necessary to tap all sources of energy in the United States.
“Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves,” the President said on April 28, 2017.
“But the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production. And when they say closed, they mean closed,” Mr. Trump said at the time.
The effort had drawn threats of a lawsuit from the Democratic Governor of the Tar Heel State.
Now the President and North Carolina officials are on the same page against drilling - after another about-face by Mr. Trump on offshore exploration.