Tar Heel Editors Speak Out

The Trump administration’s plan … to permit drilling in most U.S. continental shelf waters is a threat to North Carolina’s well being in terms of tourism and our environment, which are intertwined. We join Gov. Roy Cooper and other government officials in opposing such a plan. …

Tourism along our North Carolina beaches and coastal cities draws in about $3 billion a year, generates jobs and supports local economies. The environment should be kept as pristine as possible for the enjoyment of future generations. …

— The Winston-Salem Journal

The Trump administration’s announcement last week of a five-year plan to open up areas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans to offshore drilling has been pointedly and correctly met with a wave of bipartisan condemnation.

The proposal calls for expanded drilling in the Arctic, opening up waters for drilling off California for the first time in more than three decades and allowing drilling from Florida to Maine in areas that have been blocked for decades. …

And with the explosion in the availability of cleaner burning natural gas and a worldwide glut of oil, it makes no economic sense to open up vast tracts of shoreline in a mad rush for oil as if the country were in the grips of the energy crisis of the 1970s.

We still adhere to the firm and defiant declaration [Gov. Roy] Cooper made in April on the beach at Fort Macon State Park: “Not off our coast.”

— Rocky Mount Telegram

While economists argue over the effect of the new GOP tax law and conservatives criticize Gov. [Roy] Cooper for using state financial incentives to attract new jobs, the real challenge for 2018 is to improve the nation, state, and local infrastructure which have been left neglected and underfunded for far too long. …

The United States, as a whole, has done a poor job of managing its physical infrastructure. The interstate highway system is worn down, 50,000 bridges are crumbling, poor railroad tracks are causing more accidents, aging airports are unable to handle modern airplanes and increased air traffic, and ancient water and sewer systems struggle to keep up with population growth. The American Society of Civil Engineers last year gave the country’s vital infrastructure a grade of D-plus. …

More money, intelligently spent, is what will be needed in 2018 on every level to get our infrastructure needs reasonably updated. Both parties, and all levels of government, need to work together to provide the funds, the strategies and the leadership to bring our nation’s physical foundation into this century. That’s the way to boost our economy and prosperity.

— Spring Hope Enterprise

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