I wouldn't put a down-payment on a new boat just yet:
The creation of new jobs – tens of thousands of them – would be one of the greatest economic gains to North Carolina from offshore drilling, proponents say. Critics of drilling charge that the rosy job numbers are based on a flawed economic study commissioned by the oil industry. Reaching even those lofty numbers, they note, will requires hundreds of drilling rigs and a significant buildup of infrastructure that now doesn’t exist.
Just a personal anecdote: The guy who lived across the street from me (here in NC) for about ten years was a roughneck who worked on offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. I think he was out there for three weeks straight and then a week off, and he came home every couple of months or so. He told me that was not uncommon; several of his coworkers lived in states not fronting the Gulf. Why is that important? Because many work from the assumption that out-of-state oil workers would be temporary, that once our own people got the proper training those jobs would be ours. It really doesn't work like that. And we also won't be paying less at the pump, as many groups like AFP try to imply:
Whatever the case, consumers aren’t necessarily going to notice a difference at the pump. Though nearly all domestic oil is kept in the U.S. the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries still sets gas prices.
Consumers in Alaska, which has the lowest gas tax in the country, still pay about 50 cents more per gallon than in North Carolina. Gas prices in other oil producing states like Texas and Louisiana aren’t much cheaper than what North Carolinians pay for today.