Carney against plan for Atlantic coast drilling

In this file photo taken Aug. 19, 2008, the Chevron Genesis Oil Rig Platform is seen in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, La. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo, file)

In this file photo taken Aug. 19, 2008, the Chevron Genesis Oil Rig Platform is seen in the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, La. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo, file)

The possibility of oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean just to the south of Delaware isn’t sitting well with Delaware Congressman John Carney.

The proposal allows drilling 50 miles off the coast of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. Oil companies have been barred from drilling in the Atlantic for decades, but that moratorium was lifted in 2008.

“This is a balanced proposal that would make available nearly 80 percent of the undiscovered technically recoverable resources,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement. That statement indicated the U.S. Interior Department is “considering” a lease sale in the Atlantic for drilling sometime between 2017 and 2022.

Congressman John Carney, D- Delaware, opposes the plan. “Expanding drilling in Delaware’s backyard is the wrong move for the country,” Carney said in a statement. “I’m concerned that this proposal would put Delaware and our neighbors at risk of suffering the same devastation and destruction as the Gulf Coast after the BP spill.”

The timing doesn’t make sense for Carney either: “In light of increased domestic production, it’s also unnecessary and not worth the risk.”

Carney said the focus should be on developing alternative energy technology like offshore wind, which he said would protect natural resources while helping reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.

Plans to develop an offshore wind farm off the coast of Delaware’s beaches fell through in late 2011 after NRG Energy was unable to find investors for the project that would cost up to $1.5 billion.  There was also uncertainty about federal policy and credits that would be made available to offset the costs. Carney was an original cosponsor of a measure that would have created a special tax credit to help offshore wind companies finance wind power projects in the Atlantic.

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