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Wilmington City Council Adopts Resolution Opposing Seismic Testing & Offshore Drilling

In a unanimous decision, the Wilmington City Council passed a resolution opposing oil drilling off the North Carolina coast. Advocates on both sides focused on the economic pros and cons of drilling’s precursor seismic testing. 

 

Before making their decision, City Council heard arguments from both sides of the offshore drilling debate. Lindsey Deignan of the SurfRider Foundation spoke against seismic testing and offshore drilling. Deignan says the entire coastal economy is at stake: 

Deignan: "Now, probably some of the most popular and economically profitable ecosystem services are those that are responsible for our fishing, tourism, recreation industries. In North Carolina, those three industries support roughly 51,000 jobs and generate about 2.2 billion in GDP."

Robert Gisiner of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors spoke in favor of seismic testing for oil and natural gas deposits. He says the countries that currently engage in seismic surveying along the Atlantic seaboard include Argentina, Mexico, Canada, England, and South Africa:

Gisiner: "What’s missing in this picture? Where’s the hole? It’s the coast of North America. It’s the only place where nobody’s doing seismic."

One observer shouted, "Good!" The room erupted in cheers.

Gisiner's response:  "We’re buying their oil at their price."

Supporters of the resolution say Wilmington is the largest city on the North Carolina coast to officially oppose seismic testing and offshore drilling.