Minds open to offshore drilling

Along North Carolina’s coastline, a new tone is creeping into conversations about offshore drilling.
Where once there was nearly universal opposition to platforms in the ocean, some speak of them in a new way — as a possibility, an inevitability, even a financial benefit to a region long fearful of the damage drilling could do to tourism and ecology.

That’s because Congress is moving closer than ever toward permitting natural gas — and oil, too, if it’s found — to be pulled from the Outer Continental Shelf. A bill passed the House a week ago; another is in the Senate.