NC officials host closed meeting on offshore development

RALEIGH, N.C. AP — Officials from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia met privately Thursday with federal regulators and groups funded by oil and gas companies to discuss plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast.A coalition of environmental groups sought to be allowed inside the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Five-Year Program meeting, which was held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.Reporters were allowed to attend the end of the session only to hear closing remarks by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, but only after a police officer posted at the door checked their credentials. By then, many of the 60 people on the list of invited attendees had left, leaving behind empty chairs.McCrory, a Republican, has been outspoken in his support for launching oil and gas exploration off of the East Coast as soon as possible. On Thursday, he said the drilling would create jobs and bring needed revenue to the state.

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