>N.C. Governor Now Considering Offshore Drilling

>Raleigh, N.C.- Commenting on a U.S. Interior Department draft proposal to expand oil and gas drilling through 2015, Governer Perdue said she is appointing a panel of experts to advise her on tapping into oil and natural gas reserves in the Atlantic and generating energy from the wind and sun.

“I support development of a range of domestic energy resources to meet our energy needs and enhance our national security,” Perdue wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in a letter dated Sept. 18. “However, I also believe it is imperative that the states have the ultimate say in developing energy sources off their coasts.”

The panel and letter reflects Perdue’s change of mind on exploratory drilling off the North Carolina coast, which she had adamantly opposed just 15 months ago. The panel is expected to include researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who released a study last month showing potential for utility-scale production of wind energy off the North Carolina coast and possibly in eastern portions of Pamlico Sound.

Additional coverage is provided via the PilotOnline.com.