Del. State Officials, Coastal Homeowners Oppose Federal Offshore - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. State Officials, Coastal Homeowners Oppose Federal Offshore Drilling Proposal

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REHOBOTH, Del. -- Delaware Congressman John Carney met with state environmental and tourism officials in Sussex County Wednesday to discuss offshore drilling in the Mid-Atlantic.

Part of a week-long series of discussions focusing on climate change issues, Carney reiterated his opposition to any offshore drilling proposal off the coast of Delaware. One of Carney's main concerns stem from the impacts oil spills pose to the environment, such as last week's oil spill in Santa Barbara that released more than 105,000 gallons of crude oil onto the California coastline.

Carney says impacts to Delaware's billion dollar tourism industry is also a main concern driving his opposition to the Department of Interior's offshore drilling proposal, part of its five year-plan.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Coastal Management Program has reviewed a number of seismic surveys requested by private companies to assess the potential impacts to coastal resources.

DNREC says offshore drilling would not be in the best interest of the state and pursuing alternative energy is preferred.

At the meeting in Rehoboth Wednesday morning was the executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism making the department's case against Mid-Atlantic offshore drilling.

Scott Thomas says the potential impacts to the coastal resources, tourism and the economy were among his major concerns with the proposal.

Currently, Delaware does not permit offshore drilling, according to DNREC.

Studies on offshore drilling have found that opening the Atlantic, Pacific and areas of the Gulf of Mexico could create close to a million new jobs and grow the economy earning billions of dollars in revenue.

But some coastal homeowners are not convinced that offshore drilling's benefits will outweigh the costs, including Lewes homeowner John Kennedy.

"Just the unsightliness of seeing the rigs out there I mean I would much rather see them drill on land than out in the sea," said Kennedy.

Carney continues his tour of Climate Change Week throughout the state featuring discussions about coastal resiliency, aquaculture and a number of park restorations projects through May 29.

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