Official Suggests Cooperation On Offshore Drilling

A leader of a General Assembly panel examining energy exploration off the North Carolina coast says the state should consider working with neighbors to ensure its interests are protected.

Doug Rader with the Environmental Defense Fund in Raleigh said Wednesday that North Carolina needs to watch potential oil and natural gas drilling or alternative energy initiatives off the coasts of Virginia or South Carolina.

A oil and gas lease sale off the Virginia coast is scheduled early next decade. Virginia's state geologist told the offshore energy advisory panel two potential wind energy projects also are being discussed.

Rader said it would be unfortunate if North Carolina has no say about projects that could affect negatively the North Carolina coast, or can't share in profits in nearby ventures.

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