Crystal Coast residents fight plans for offshore drilling

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Governor Cooper has adamantly opposed the Trump administration’s plan to drill off the coast of North Carolina.

About 2,000 feet above sea level you can see the inlets, waterways, and sections of coast that could be impacted if the Trump administration’s plan for offshore drilling goes forward.

Pilot Matthew Kruggel flies over the coastal waterways regularly. He says it’s our duty to make sure they are taken care of.

“We have an obligation,” said Kruggel, “to protect the environment. To protect the future generation so that they can savor these moments, these scenes.”

Kruggel was in Pensacola, Florida, during the deepwater horizon oil spill and said the cleanup efforts consumed the city.

“I got to see firsthand the impact along the coastline there,” said Kruggel. “I certainly would not wish that type of a situation to occur on any location if it’s at all preventable.”

Crystal Coast Waterkeeper Larry Baldwin fears that if drilling off the coast were approved we would be facing a similar situation in North Carolina.

“The risks are just too great,” said Baldwin. “And to me it’s not a matter of if we have a spill, it’s a matter of when.”

Baldwin is organizing a group of concerned citizens to take a bus trip to Raleigh next week to add their voices to the call against offshore drilling.

“The magnitude of this thing is so great that it’s not worth the risk,” said Baldwin. “So we just say no to offshore drilling.”

He said the economy would suffer as tourism, wildlife, and our ecosystem are put in danger.

Governor Cooper has threatened to sue to make sure that drilling doesn’t happen off the Crystal Coast.

The buses for Raleigh leave on Monday morning. You can find more information at nccoast.org.

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