LETTER: Drilling off coast should not be allowed

Aug. 17, 2013 @ 04:59 AM

To the Editor:

Do you love seafood, the beaches or fishing off the coast? If you answered yes to any of these, you may be out of luck if drilling is allowed off the coast of North Carolina. The reason that I say that is there are areas that have the potential of having massive underwater landslides in the Currituck and Cape Fear areas. Not only will they cause underwater landslides, but also tsunamis.

In the past, there was a giant underwater landslide called the Albermarle-Currituck Slide that was as large as 33 cubic miles, which was 900 feet deep by 13.7 miles long and 7.4 miles wide. The Cape Fear underwater landslide was not as large.

If there is drilling off the coast of North Carolina and another underwater landslide of the magnitude the Albermarle-Currituck slide was to happen, it would severe the drill head and piping and it would make the Deepwater Horizon oil spill look like a leaking faucet. A well drilled in the area would spill oil for years and could never be capped.

An oil spill of this magnitude would ruin the tourist business of many states. The estuaries of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia would be ruined for years, therefore, there would not be any seafood from them for more years than I would care to guess. Plus the beaches would be covered in oil for years. We need to make sure that drilling off the coast of North Carolina is never allowed to happen. Wildlife will suffer as well.

Our coast is too precious to endanger. This would be the final nail in the coffin for business, real estate and housing market on the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

I hazard to guess what will happen if these large amounts of oil flow into the Gulf Stream for years, change the world’s climate? What East Coast state would allow a refinery to be built on their coast?

Go to two websites to find more information: www.earth2class.org and www.coastalmap.marine.usgs.gov.

Mark L. Coggins