North Carolina’s coast has the potential to make the United States of America practically energy independent.  What’s that, you say, you’ve never heard that before?  Not surprising.  Many people would like for this be a state secret on par with ‘Who killed Kennedy’.  The fact is, according to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Coastal Management, that North Carolina’s natural gas reserves could rival those of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.  From their website comes the following post: 

Interest in North Carolina’s OCS In the past, no interest in oil and gas exploration has been shown off the North Carolina Coast except for the Manteo Exploration Unit (MEU).  The MEU is comprised of 21 blocks, each approximately nine square miles in size located about 38 miles east of Rodanthe.  This is the location of an ancient reef structure with the age and composition likely to hold hydrocarbons, most likely natural gas.  Industry experts estimate that there is a 7% chance of finding hydrocarbons in the area and 2% chance that it would be economically viable.  However, the estimated potential reservoir (by federal and industry geologists) if a discovery is made is five trillion cubic feet of natural gas with a field life of 20-30 years.  This puts the site on par with other large finds such as Prudhoe Bay Alaska.

Mobil, Marathon and Amerada Hess began leasing that area in 1981.  Just before the first well was sunk, Congress passed the Outer Banks Protection Act, which prohibited the Interior Dept from issuing any more offshore drilling leases.  This moratorium was extended to include all of the east coast through 2012, according to the News & Observer.

How can it be that hundreds of windmills 10 miles offshore would not be a blight but a single drilling platform 45 miles offshore is?  Drilling for natural gas makes sense for North Carolina.