Energy Summit draws industry reps and protestors

The happy talk express gets derailed:

Three protesters disrupted proceedings inside, shouting at speakers Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, and N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory, who responded to their calls against offshore drilling and hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” Continuing, McCrory added, referring to the protester: “And for that individual and other individuals who will now get in their car and fill up with gas or turn on their air conditioner or heater, they’re using energy from the same sources that they’re protesting against.”

That prompted another protester to call out at McCrory before being escorted out. Rob Kaiser, publisher of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, who emceed the event and interviewed McCrory, spoke over the outburst to ask the governor how such environmental concerns are balanced with business interests.

And he just became part of the story instead of reporting it. This forum may not have been set up to allow questions/comments from the audience, but a journalist who drowns out somebody else's voice, even if he's trying to "smooth things over" and get some kind of answer the reporter thinks may address the protestor's concerns, is no journalist at all. He's a pundit, and we have more than enough of those. As to the Governor himself, his illogical mouth runneth over:

As the governor discussed how energy programs will be paid for, using the example of the Gulf Coast, two hecklers shouted questions to him from their seats in the 350-member audience in the convention center's ballroom.

“The Gulf Coast did not get a good deal out of the oil drilling that’s been happening there,” a female said as she was escorted out of the room by security. “There’s plenty of impoverished people in the Gulf shore.”

In response, McCrory said, “I welcome people who ask tough questions, and I encourage dialogue.”

Bolding mine. "I welcome your questions, now get the hell out of here." ;/

But the Summit wasn't a total wash:

Before the discussion began, Bruce Thompson of the Raleigh law firm Parker Poe and the American Wind Energy Association addressed the audience briefly on the subject of wind energy, saying, “Wind energy equals economic development.”

Thompson said he thinks wind energy will have a significant impact on ports, especially the state port in Wilmington, but brings its own specific challenges. “This is one segment where regulatory obstacles have actually increased.” He also said wind energy faces some of the same obstacles discussed in an earlier session at the summit featuring American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard.

Another challenge for the wind energy industry is the cost factor, McCrory said.

*sigh* Not one word from McCrory on the costs associated with constructing and/or deploying huge offshore drilling platforms, but wind turbines (which cost a fraction of oil rigs upfront and in maintenance) are too costly. SMH.

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