Last month, Speaker Pro Tem Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney convened a legislative study commission that will take a hard look at the pros and cons of offshore drilling off our coast. The Obama administration's decision will allow North Carolina more time to examine the effects of proposed projects in neighboring states.
Secretary Salazar, from the afore-linked MSNBC article:
"To establish an orderly process that allows us to make wise decisions based on sound information, we need to set aside" the plan "and create our own timeline."Alleging that the Bush administration "had torpedoed" offshore renewable energy in favor of oil and natural gas, Salazar said he was extending the public comment period by 6 months.
Last year, as the chorus of "Drill, Baby, Drill" drowned out sane discussion on US energy policy, Congress allowed the moratorium on offshore drilling to expire. Not only did the drilling harangue ignore the large droves of scientic research urging a curb in carbon emissions (Hansen et al, 2008; supporting material), it coincided with a political season (known for rational debate, sound decision-making, and evidence-based pragmatism [note: sarcasm]). What we need is a more nuanced and informed energy policy; this decision is a step in the right direction.