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Editorial: Oil Industry Must Be Desperate For Support

Managing Editor

After attending the Kure Beach Town Council meeting Monday January 27th, and witnessing the largest crowd I've seen at Kure Beach Town Hall since I first started working at the Gazette in 2001, one question remains. Why does the oil industry need a small Town Mayor to show support so badly that they send a couple of representatives into the Lion's Den to defend their position that seismic airgun testing is good for the environment and it must happen because we all need more black gold to keep our combustion engines rolling? (See report on page 1-A). The Mayor in fact signed a form letter supporting seismic airgun testing for off shore oil and natural gas exploration. It was last on the December agenda and the Council did nothing to solicit public input before discussing such a hot topic of national debate.
A topic that small-town Kure Beach shouldn't have even entertained. True, Mayor Lambeth has a right to express his opinion just like everyone else, but he was elected to office by the people and therefore his opinions as a Mayor carry their names. He can't simply flip an on-off switch and one moment say he's representing the people and the next moment claim it's his personal opinion.
The oil industry proponents didn't want his "personal opinion", they wanted his support as "Mayor" of a Town and as "Mayor" he didn't include the caveat that he had not asked those voters for input and therefore was speaking only for himself in a letter addressed to several people including the President of the United States of America.