This article discusses the Trump administration’s proposal to allow offshore oil and gas drilling. That has met significant opposition from Republican candidates up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
Carteret County sits in a region of North Carolina known as the Crystal Coast. It’s celebrated for its charming lighthouses, sun-bleached beaches, and relaxed atmosphere. The population is 89.9 percent white and staunchly Republican.
President Trump won the county in 2016 with 71 percent of the vote. But he has touched off an insurrection among the GOP faithful here on the issue of offshore drilling, which the county almost universally views as a threat to tourism. In that, Carteret is typical of areas up and down the Eastern Seaboard, where opposition to the Trump administration’s proposed plan to allow offshore drilling in nearly all U.S. coastal waters has become a top issue in the 2018 midterms. While coastal Republicans’ support for Trump remains strong, their opposition to drilling underscores the limits of his support when local pocketbook and quality-of-life issues are at stake.