The state's offshore energy panel will hold three public meetings in North Carolina's coastal communities next week as it reviews the state's offshore potential for wind, oil, natural gas and other resources. Tourism, commerce and the ecology of communities like Manteo, Wilmington and others could be directly affected if the state or federal government commits to offshore energy exploration.
The Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy will hear from the public in Wilmington, Morehead City and Manteo, with participants expected from a wider area. Gov. Bev Perdue formed the panel last year in response to a proposed federal program for the sale of drilling leases off the Atlantic coast.
The panel has held numerous meetings already to hear from experts on legal, environmental and other issues pertaining to offshore energy exploration. In addition to significant potential for fossil fuel, the state is considered to have among the best resources in the nation for offshore wind energy.