Charleston, SC (AP) - Some lawmakers in the Carolinas say drilling for oil and natural gas offshore will be boost the states' economies and help the nation toward energy independence.
But conservation groups warn such drilling could endanger coastal tourism with the possibility of oil spills on Carolinas beaches.
The Obama administration on Tuesday included an area off the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia in its draft proposal of tracts on the Outer Continental Shelf that could be leased between 2017 and 2022.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina calls the inclusion a potential game-changer for the state that could mean billions in economic activity.
But the North Carolina Sierra Club says the energy future for the Carolinas should be based on tapping offshore wind power, not on drilling for fossil fuels.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.