Tillis says NC added to Trump drilling ban

By on September 28, 2020

September 28 Update: As this report in the Coastal Review Online indicates, President Trump confirmed that he has added North Carolina to the offshore drilling moratorium during a Sept. 24 speech in Newport News, VA and signed a moratorium to that effect for the Department of Interior. Read the Coastal Review Online story here “Trump Confirms NC, Va Drilling Moratorium.”

Tillis says NC added to Trump drilling ban

Dare Board had been poised to pass resolution

September 21: North Carolina has been included in President Donald Trump’s moratorium that blocks offshore oil and gas drilling off several East Coast states for the next 12 years, according to a Sept. 21 statement from U.S. Senator Thom Tillis.

President Trump signed a presidential order earlier this month that extended the moratorium on offshore drilling for Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. But at the time, he did not include North Carolina. The moratorium effectively bans offshore drilling leases from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

“Over the last several years, I have listened to mayors and elected officials from Brunswick to Currituck County and have been adamant that any decision on new energy production off North Carolina’s coast should be made with the input of our local communities,” said Tillis in the release, adding that he had urged the president to extend the moratorium to North Carolina. Tillis, a Republican, is locked in a tough re-election battle this year with Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham.

Over the years, the Outer Banks community has been vocal about its opposition to drilling off the coast of North Carolina, bringing both political parties together in an effort to resist offshore energy drilling. Last week, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, also up for re-election this fall, sent a letter to Trump asking him to include North Carolina in the moratorium.

At its Sept. 21 meeting, the Dare County Board of Commissioners was poised to adopt another resolution voicing its opposition to drilling off the North Carolina coast with the hope of pressuring the Trump Administration to include the state in the drilling moratorium.

But at that meeting, Board Chairman Bob Woodard said he received a call from Tillis’ office around 3:30 p.m. that afternoon with the news.

“I had requested that we add this resolution,” he told fellow board members. “We wanted to add in that resolution to urge the President to extend the moratorium that he’d recently had extended to South Carolina and Georgia, just as he had done with Florida earlier. And I’m pleased now that we don’t have to do this resolution.”

Woodard, who said he had expressed his appreciation to the senator, added that, “This is welcome news.”

Tamara Warren, chair of the Outer Banks Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, told the Voice that, “We would like to thank Governor Cooper for reaching out to the Trump Administration, and encouraging the administration to include North Carolina to the moratorium along with Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. We also like to thank the President for listening, because our political leaders can really do great things when they communicate and resolve issues plaguing our country.”

Update: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has offered this statement in response to North Carolina being included in the offshore drilling moratorium.

It’s good the President finally appears to have listened to the bipartisan voices of North Carolinians who for years have been fighting this administration to stop oil drilling off our coast. I will stay vigilant and ready to resume the fight in the event the federal government makes any move toward offshore drilling.”


  • Wombatnc

    Trump was the one who lifted the ban after he came into office. This is purely a a political move from a person who doesn’t care at all about the environment.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 7:51 am
  • Martha

    It’s somewhat relieving to know that offshore oil drilling of the NC coast will be protected for a while still. I hope this issue stays alive in our community as well as in the state and on down the coast.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 7:57 am
  • Molly

    Don’t believe Trump! It’s a political stunt. He will lift it as soon as he is elected again. He doesn’t give rat’s patootie about anything but himself.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 8:22 am
  • editor in chief

    “The moratorium effectively bans offshore drilling leases from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.” Do your proof reading – how do you get 12 years?

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 8:30 am
  • sandflea

    If re-elected, the orange messiah will reverse this in a matter of minutes. Everyone knows it. He’s gutted every clean air, water, environment protection there is. As Wombat says, its purely political.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 8:37 am
  • Travis

    This political football game grows old. Obama went back and forth on drilling. Now Trump is doing the same. Moratoriums have no teeth. They can be undone as easily as they are done. This particular one has nothing to do with environmental concerns. We’re in a period of an oil and gas glut and there is very little incentive for more production at the moment. That’s the only reason we’re getting a break. This issue will raise its ugly head again long before 12 years pass.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 9:15 am
  • Ann

    Trump does care about the environment, Wombatnc. Maybe you should educate yourself about Trump and not follow the fake news media. He also listens to the people and cares more about this country than any other past president. You like alot of people better get their head out of the sand and reelect him unless of course you want to live in a socialist country.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 9:27 am
  • Monte Thompson

    Cant help but wonder if either Trump or Tillis would have favored the ban if this wasnt an election year. …since in prior years they were chanting “Drill Baby Drill!”

    Of course, I’m not really wondering at all.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 9:40 am
  • Realist

    Most residents on the Outer Banks, regardless of party affiliation, care about the environment. We cannot help but to observe the environment as it plays such a paramount role in our day to day lives. Fossil fuels are also a big part of our lives. Gasoline, fuels, lubricants and plastics among numerous other products require oil to make. I bet if you look around you now, at this moment, you will see dozens of products that require fossil fuels to manufacture. Most of us are unwilling to give up these products, most of us drive our kids to school in our fancy SUV’s instead of making them ride the bus! Fancy SUV’s that are made of and consume fossil fuels. Everyone fears the Exxon Valdez or the BP Event Horizon but I have more faith in the American quality controls that are in place in the oil industry than I have faith in the quality controls of other nations around the world. The US territorial sea extends 12 nautical miles from our shores. What stops another nation from drilling outside our territorial waters? Say it is a country with wanton disregard for the environment, what then? This is simple supply and demand. WombatNC says the president does not care about the environment, this move is simply political. It is important to remember that being “banned” or “not banned” is a negotiation and the ban was restored, that’s a compromise, that’s actually good politics, that is the people influencing the process. People weighing options, having discussions and determining the pros and cons before settling on the best and most realistic option is how things used to be done in America. Not trolling our president for a ill informed cheap shot on an issue that is so important to our community. Beyond that maybe WombatNC should stop being a hypocrite, sell their vehicle , ride a bike everywhere, stop buying anything plastic, etc., etc., etc., otherwise maybe WombatNC doesn’t care at all about the environment.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 11:08 am
  • Eugene

    Behind in the polls and desperate, Trump and Tillis are only trying to improve their image.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 4:18 pm
  • Wombatnc

    @realist and ann,
    Ann – are you aware of all of the executive orders issued by trump that have lowered air and water quality standards to allow large corporations to emit more pollutants? He calls ’em excessive regulations but I tend to like my air and water clean. We pay for that as a society in increased health care costs and a lower standard of living. Are you aware that he has allowed forestry and mining operations to expand operations into National Parks, Forests and Federal lands. Are you aware of the Paris Climate Agreement? The one that he signed us out of? Are you aware that he has rolled back the emissions standards for automobiles and threatened to sue states that continue to hold those high standards in place despite his actions. The list goes on and on, so my suggestion is to get off the FAUX News and educate yourself!
    Realist – Economics 101 – a foreign nation drilling 12 miles off our coast? Really? You are correct about “supply and demand” and right now we have plenty of oil and natural gas to meet the world’s demand. The question is, do we have to be energy exporters? I say no! We should conserve what we have and invest in wiser, more efficient energies. A criticism of a sitting elected official is not a cheap shot; I’m sorry that your almighty leader gets criticized by me, others and the “fake media” but it’s a part of our politics. Do you remember when Obama was President and the crap that was launched at him from, I guessing, your side? So, yes, call me a hypocrite and continue the name-calling that your one and done trump has emboldened, but it’s all baseless, as in the GOP’s support for Don the Con.
    Be smart people, vote for Biden (Bye-Don 2020) and Cunningham November 3rd!!!

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 5:39 pm
  • Lou Briccant

    Yep, Orange Man bad… he can’t do anything right… meanwhile you’re all gonna vote for Biden who just does two things well… pander and make gaffes.

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 6:38 pm
  • Alvin

    Thank you Ann, I have returned my stimulus check, I will return my social security checks when they arrive, and have decided to home-school my children. I am no longer going to drive on the public highways or file a claim with my flood insurance if we have coastal flooding that overtakes my house. I want to make sure I’m not a socialist. I have taken my head out of wombat’s sand. The air up here is so clean and clear. I didn’t realize until yesterday the greatness of Donald Trump. He has swooped in and saved Coastal North Carolina. He is so kind, generous, loyal, monogamous, honest, humble, and did I mention that honesty. Don’t believe the rest of the people posting responses. Get your facts at one of these:
    Brietbart, One America News Network, QAnon, Infowars, Newsmax, National Review, Fox

    Tuesday, Sep 22 @ 6:58 pm
  • sandflea

    Ann, wow! I don’t even know where to start. I’m guessing you don’t even know what the definition of a socialist is. Maybe use your Google Machine and do some very basic research instead of spouting off things you maybe heard on your Facebook feed. Absolutely incredible. If I were to say what I and many others really think, this wouldn’t be allowed here.

    Wednesday, Sep 23 @ 8:08 am
  • Eugene

    realist? Get your facts straight. No other country can drill within our EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). It extends 200 miles out. BP (British Petroleum) is a multinational company so they operate in the US as a US company. That still didn’t stop the drillers, Halliburton, from using a cheap blowout preventer and substandard concrete.

    Ann – 70 environmental regulations rolled back under Trump. 30 more pending. 10 overturned by the courts.

    Wednesday, Sep 23 @ 4:16 pm
  • Realist

    WombatNC, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was made in South Korea and operated by a Swiss company contracting to a British oil company. Foreign Companies harvesting fossil fuels in our seas…not so far fetched, google it, the internet does not lie. The oil ended up on our shores. The majority of residents on the Outer Banks oppose offshore drilling. Majority rules with minority rights. Lifting the ban, enacting the ban, may be political theatre but the end result is that the ban is in place and that the majority of residents of the coastal counties and probably the entire state back the ban. Also we compress natural gas harvested from states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, place it in special shipping containers and ship it over to Europe, not to mention coal exports…so not so far fetched to believe that foreign markets are interested in our fossil fuels. As someone who navigates environmental regulations and influences the interpretations of these rules I can tell you from personal experience that the rules are no so much “excessive” (as you are interpreting the word meaning that they are somehow reducing the stringency of the standards) as they are redundant to the point of being conflicting and or cumbersome. I can also assure you that the regulations in question are Federal in nature and that the State of NC has its own set of rules found with the North Carolina Administrative Code and General Statutes. These state rules protect or water quality, air quality and general overall impacts on the local ecosystem. Rest easy these rules haven’t changed since Donald Trump won the election. I have never responded to any of these articles in the past and the reason I did was the nature of your response. It is low brow to insinuate that the President doesn’t care about the environment, it doesn’t enhance the conversation it just makes it highly partisan right out of the gate. Under Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program the US Dept of Energy spent 535 million dollars on a company called Solyndra, a company engaged in the manufacturing of PV solar tubes and within a short time of getting this federal investment Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 and the money disappeared. Ener1, a company making lithium batteries, received 118.5 million dollars as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 before filing for bankruptcy in 2012. This is just the tip of the iceberg of failed environmental investments made under the previous administration. These examples are factual and in some cases may contain elements of cronyism and corruption. Anyone can dredge up dirt to make one president of the other look bad when it comes to environmental policy. I just did it here to make a point. The conversation is much more complicated than some news outlet talking points and we all need to play our parts to understand the conversation and have a meaningful dialog.

    Wednesday, Sep 23 @ 7:27 pm
  • Wombatnc

    @Realist, Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of the decision to reinstate the moratorium that trump lifted after entering office. I’m not sure where you’re getting your facts about trump’s environmental track record but I believe they may be misleading.
    Any economic activities that take place off of our coasts are restricted out to 200 miles – this is called the Exclusive Economic Zone – so no foreign nation can operate within it without our permission.
    As a nation that takes pride in innovation and new technology, we (private, public, gov’t. & tax dollars) have supported numerous business ventures over the years. Some are successful from the start, others take awhile to gain traction. That’s how we move forward and progress as a nation and as a civilization. Yes, investments are made and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. “Hey, let’s reinvest in coal” – not so smart! All we have to do is look at trump’s financial track record as a business man -not so good! After being given a million dollars of “start-up” money from daddy, he proceeded to make some good decisions, but a LOT of poor ones as well – filing for bankruptcy four times.
    And what about all of the huge subsidies given to fossil fuel companies?
    There are 2 sides to every coin and you can choose to believe which side you want.

    Thursday, Sep 24 @ 6:11 am
  • Realist

    Wombat and Eugene, your point regarding the 200 mile EEZ is valid. This being said there are countries in the world right now that are testing these types of extra territorial jurisdictions and it would be quite a hairy situation if another country were to challenge our sovereignty of these waters…but you are right and I was not.

    As to NE NC I can attest to decades of experience dealing with environmental regulations that directly impact our local ecosystem. In those years of experience, including the last 4 years, the rules and regulations have never got less stringent, in fact they have always gotten more stringent. If the Feds relax rules the State picks up the slack. As a first world country we are doing a pretty good job of preservation and conservation.

    My experience is real, not an article in a magazine. We could spend months debating the nuances of renewable energy, climate change, effective and ineffective environmental policy, economic impacts, industry subsidies, etc., etc., but alas I am sure we both have to work.

    You are absolutely correct, there are 2 sides to every coin, but only one truth. My guess is that the actual truth probably lies somewhere between our independent views. I know how I am voting in November as I am sure you do as well. Have a great day.

    Thursday, Sep 24 @ 11:06 am