The federal government's only scheduled public meeting in North Carolina today to discuss expanding oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast and in other waters is expected to attract busloads of people opposing the idea.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding local events across the country about a proposal by President Donald Trump's administration to open more waters to drilling. The North Carolina meeting starts Monday afternoon at a Raleigh hotel.
Several environmental groups fighting expansion are helping bring residents from the Outer Banks, Wilmington and elsewhere to rally and to speak with agency representatives.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is adamantly opposed to offshore drilling and has threatened litigation unless North Carolina is left out. Top state Republicans, including former Gov. Pat McCrory, generally have supported offshore expansion.