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The list of accusers against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to swell. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Hurricane Florence SNAPs North Carolina to attention on the importance of food benefits; plus a new report says young parents need better supports.

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New Oil Drilling Rules Will Affect North Carolina

October 12, 2010

RALEIGH, N.C. - There are new federal rules for offshore oil drilling in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but critics say they don't go far enough to prevent another disaster. The new regulations govern safety certification, well design, emergency response and worker training in an effort to prevent another drilling disaster and to protect the coastline.

David Guest, managing attorney for Earthjustice, says however that the new rules don't address the whole problem.

"It was a complete failure to make the system to protect the safety work. Making a list of the things that went wrong and saying don't do those again: that's not good enough."

Talks to lease sites off the coast of North Carolina for drilling came to a halt after the Gulf spill, but Guest expects that matter to be placed back on the table eventually.

"I believe there is likely to be a major move to lease tracts offshore of North Carolina for oil drilling. I think you may see some oil drilling."

Guest says the geography and weather patterns on the Gulf Coastline prevented the oil spill from spreading more than it did, but those same patterns do not exist for mid-Atlantic states.

"A big spill, one even a small fraction of the size of the BP spill, would have a catastrophic impact in North Carolina."

Oil companies complain that the new regulations are too time-consuming and expensive, but they are also eager to get the 33 idled deep-water rigs in the Gulf back up and running when the current moratorium on drilling is expected to be lifted, on November 30 or sooner. The Department of Interior did not address the moratorium in the latest decision, but Guest says they should fix the safety issues before lifting the ban.

The agency is also undertaking a new environmental assessment of the impact of oil drilling on the Gulf ecosystem, which Guest says is long overdue. He says a more complete analysis of safety issues and tougher regulations are needed because the cost of another crisis would be too high.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC