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API Announces New “Explore Offshore” Coalition In North Carolina Supporting Expanded Access To State’s Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources; Part of Larger Effort Backing Offshore Energy Opportunities in Southeast United States


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Former Mayor of Fayetteville Nat Robertson to serve as State Chair; Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson and Former Secretary of the Navy Virginia Senator Jim Webb to Serve as bipartisan National Co-Chairs.

Oil and Natural Gas Industry Could Create Over 56,000 New High-Paying Jobs in North Carolina; Offshore Development Could Result in $3 Billion in Private Investment; $500 Million a Year in State Revenues.

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2018 – API today announced the formation of “Explore Offshore”, a new coalition of more than 100 community organizations, associations, businesses and local leaders in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida who support increased access to offshore U.S. oil and natural gas resources in the Southeast, including nearly 30 groups in North Carolina. The North Carolina effort will be led by Former Mayor of Fayetteville Nat Robertson. Jim Nicholson, who served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs during the George W. Bush Administration, and former Secretary of the Navy and Virginia Senator Jim Webb will serve as bipartisan national co-chairs of the coalition.

Nat Robertson, Former Mayor of Fayetteville, Explore Offshore North Carolina Chairman: “As a former Mayor, I understand first-hand the importance of natural gas and oil production to both our economy and reliable and affordable prices at the pump.  North Carolina has a great opportunity before us with Secretary Zinke’s plan to open up the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf to oil and natural gas exploration. In fact, the average salary for oil and natural gas exploration and development is $116,000 – substantially more than our state average. With the recent advances in technology and a robust regulatory regime that’s already in place, offshore exploration and development can be accomplished safely and responsibly without harming our beaches or our tourism industry. It is time we take this commonsense step for America’s energy future and explore offshore as part of an immediate comprehensive energy program.  We all support expanding our energy portfolio to incorporate more renewable sources of energy as well, but to do that we need oil and natural gas to ensure energy remains affordable and reliable as this process unfolds.”      

North Carolina Petroleum Council Director David McGowan:

“Explore Offshore will bring North Carolinians across the state together who support expanded offshore oil and natural gas exploration and development and understand its key role in a stronger economic and energy future.”

Why Offshore Exploration and Development is Critical to North Carolina:

  • Oil and natural gas will continue to make up over 60 percent of America’s electricity use for at least the next thirty years, according to federal government projections, even with the use of renewables on the rise.
  • 30 percent of net electricity generation in North Carolina in 2017 came from natural gas.
  • By 2035, the oil and natural gas industry could create as many as 56,000 new high-paying jobs in North Carolina.
  • Offshore development could result in up to $3 billion in private investment into North Carolina and as much as $500 million a year in potential state revenues.
  • The average salary for oil and natural gas exploration and development jobs is $116,000, including positions that do not require a 4-year degree.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 45 million Americans.

For the national press release click here.

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