January 22, 2020/Press

Five Years Ago Today, Tillis Delivered His First Senate Speech Pushing to Open Up Our Coasts to Offshore Drilling

On this day five years ago, Senator Tillis used his first speech in the U.S. Senate to argue in favor of opening North Carolina’s coasts to offshore drilling, revealing how yet again Tillis puts fossil fuel special interests ahead of North Carolina’s environment and his constituents.

Tillis has been unwavering about opening our coastline to big oil companies, reiterating as recently as last year that he continues to support “the process” of opening up our shores to offshore drilling.

Tillis also voted to confirm an oil lobbyist as the Secretary of the Interior who has voiced his support for offshore drilling, and bent over backwards to say he and the administration are “in the same place” on the issue even after the administration proposed opening almost all of the nation’s coasts, including those off North Carolina, to offshore drilling.

North Carolinians who depend on clean water and coastal tourism to survive know better. Nearly 200 businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups have come out against offshore drilling off North Carolina’s coast and at least 30 coastal communities have passed resolutions opposing drilling or seismic testing.

One thing this anniversary makes clear – Tillis has turned his back on our coastal communities in favor of the wealthy fossil fuel special interests who fund him.

News & Observer: Tillis promotes offshore drilling in first US Senate floor speech
By Franco Ordoñez
January 22, 2015

Key Points:

  • U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis delivered his first speech on the Senate floor Thursday on offshore drilling…
  • The Charlotte Republican… offered an amendment… that would allow drilling for oil and natural gas off Mid-Atlantic and South-Atlantic states.
  • Offshore energy exploration is a controversial subject in North Carolina as well as across the country. Critics charge it poses a serious threat to coastal environments and the tourism industry. They warn of ugly drilling platforms off the coast.