Will the East Coast become an energy development hub?

Due to rising political pressure, water issues and other geographical constraints, energy companies (renewable and fossil fuels) are now moving away from the West Coast and trying to create an East Coast energy market.

A large reason? Politics. The Washington Times reports that while blue states line the West Coast, the bipartisan nature of eastern states provides more opportunities for these companies to come in and establish business. The biggest industries in early stages of talking seem to be offshore drilling and offshore wind farms.

Another reason? President Obama recently opened up the Eastern Seaboard for offshore oil and gas exploration, “approving seismic surveys using sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor,” according to the Associated Press.

Most of the talk comes from North Carolina. N.C. mayor Pat McCrory (R) is spearheading the conversation, stating that it is important to keep oil production in the U.S. instead of overseas.

We will see where this conversation leads. In the meantime, it is important to note that McCrory worked for Duke Energy, a large electric power company, before getting into politics. If you need a refresher, Duke Energy was responsible for the February 2014 coal ash spill in North Carolina, which spilled 39,000 tons of “coal ash slurry” into the Dan River in Charlotte, N.C. As of now, the cleanup is still underway, despite continuing statements from the electric company that the sludge is cleaned up. There is even a federal investigation underway.

Image from the Dan River coal ash spill of Feb. 2014.
Image from the Dan River coal ash spill of Feb. 2014.

In the renewable energy sphere, plans for an offshore wind energy farm are underway in Massachusetts. Both oil and renewable energy development will cause problems for marine life and provide a larger chance for pollution and spills.

I’m sure this debate will continue as we become more invested in renewables, so stay tuned.

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