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U.S. Representative David Rouzer (R) and Challenger Wesley Casteen (D) Divided on Energy Policy

LEFT: Representative David Rouzer; RIGHT: Wesley Casteen

Republican David Rouzer is running for a second term representing North Carolina’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s challenged by Wesley Casteen, a Libertarian-turned-Democrat. 

The candidates are divided on energy policy.   

Wesley Casteen does not support offshore drilling for oil or natural gas.  Even if the state could enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with the federal government, he doesn’t think the economic benefits would outweigh the risks:

"We can all still remember the Deep Water Horizon spill. We’ve also seen the Dan River spill of coal ash. And more recently, there was the pipeline spill that affected gas prices locally. My concern is that the producers and the folks that would manage those operations have yet to demonstrate that the risk is either nonexistent or manageable within reason."

But Representative Rouzer doesn’t think those comparisons to past spills hold water. He says technology has come a long way since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and he supports offshore drilling:

"It has to be done in the right way and you have to have the safeguards in place. Not only that, if we’re going to do anything off the coast of North Carolina, we need to have the money stream in place to address our beach issues, our beach nourishment issues, the dredging of our inlets and our waterways. This could be an exceptional opportunity to financially secure our coastal communities long-term."

Representative Rouzer notes that he would also support hydraulic fracturing in the state, as long as rules and regulations are followed.