The North Carolina government is now diverting its attention from fracking to offshore drilling. On July 23, the Senate approved legislation that is intended to propel the state's energy program, according to The Associated Press. Whereas recent focus has been on regulating hydraulic fracturing, or drilling for underground natural gas and oil, lawmakers now wish to promote offshore oil drilling.
Gov. Pat McCrory already expressed his interest in such a policy during his election campaign, and he continues to stand behind it, The News & Observer reported.
"North Carolina needs to get into the energy production business in a much bigger way than we ever have before," McCrory said in a statement. He emphasized how offshore energy can create thousands of jobs for the community. "The vast majority of those jobs would be in support services such as banking, healthcare and all types of logistics."
Under the new legislation, McCrory will negotiate an offshore drilling alliance with the governors of South Carolina and Virginia, according to the AP. Currently, drilling is not legalized in the Atlantic Ocean, but this policy is being reconsidered as the nation has an increased need for energy.