Think Energy SC

This blog is maintained by the Coastal Conservation League's Energy & Climate office to inform South Carolina’s citizens about complex issues related to energy policy in our state.

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Offshore Drilling: We Won!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

You spoke up. They listened. And today we won!

A little more than a year ago, the Obama Administration shocked us all by announcing plans to allow oil and gas drilling off our coast — a direct threat to South Carolina’s tourism economy and quality of life.

Tens of thousands of citizens organized throughout the state to stop offshore drilling. Hundreds of coastal towns and cities passed resolutions declaring their opposition. Businesses and local leaders, Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural folks alike stood as a united front with a single message: Don’t mess up our coast.

It worked.

The Obama Administration is expected to announce this afternoon that they are reversing course and will not enable leasing for oil and gas drilling off the South Carolina coast.

We share the responsibility to ensure that future generations can enjoy the precious natural resources that we do. Today we succeeded in defeating a proposal that would have put everything we love about this place at risk.

While we celebrate, the fight is not over. There’s still hard work to do to ensure the conservation of South Carolina’s coast.

Here at the Coastal Conservation League, we will remain vigilant — keeping close watch over our coastal waters, air, land, and wildlife.

Join us in protecting South Carolina today.

A special thanks to the 24 cities and counties that passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling, the citizen groups SODA POP and Don’t Drill SC Lowcountry, Congressman Mark Sanford, South Carolina Senator Chip Campsen, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, the Southern Environmental Law Center, Oceana, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Conservation Voters of South Carolina, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, and all of the other individuals, businesses, groups, and leaders that stood up for our coast.

Blog · In The News · News · Think Energy SC

SC greens disappointed in Supreme Court carbon ruling

Friday, February 19, 2016

From The State:

Green groups in South Carolina expressed disappointment Tuesday night in a Supreme Court decision to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved.

The surprising move is a blow to the administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations “an unprecedented power grab.” Those include S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, who has been criticized by environmentalists but praised by business leaders.

By issuing the temporary freeze, a 5-4 majority of the justices signaled that opponents made strong arguments against the rules. The high court’s four liberal justices — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — said Tuesday they would have denied the request for delay.

The Obama administration’s plan aims to stave off the worst predicted impacts of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants by about one-third by 2030.

In many states, government agencies are already working on carbon reduction plans. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control held a series of meetings with the public last year and is working with an array of interest groups on how to meet the requirements.

Compliance with the new rules isn’t required until 2022, but states must submit their plans to the Environmental Protection Administration by September or seek an extension.

The S.C. Coastal Conservation League and the Conservation Voters of South Carolina weren’t happy about the Supreme Court ruling, but said they will forge ahead with efforts to reduce carbon in the Palmetto State.

“It’s a little surprising the Supreme Court made this decision,’’ the conservation league’s Hamilton Davis said, but he noted that regardless of what ultimately happens in court, efforts to cut carbon will continue. “This is the direction the United States and the rest of the world is heading.’’

Conservation Voters director Ann Timberlake said her group will continue to work to see that South Carolina focuses more on cleaner energy forms.

“While lawyers in DC argue, we are working with our forward-looking power companies and renewable energy businesses to seize on opportunities to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency,’’ she said Tuesday night. “Ensuring clean air for healthy and prosperous communities across South Carolina remains our priority.’’

A federal appeals court in Washington last month refused to put the plan on hold. That lower court is not likely to issue a ruling on the legality of the plan until months after it hears oral arguments begin on June 2.

Any decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, meaning resolution of the legal fight is not likely to happen until after Obama leaves office.

Like other state attorneys general, South Carolina’s Wilson has argued that the rules would drive up power bills because utilities would have to pay more to comply. Utilities have also expressed reservations about the plan.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, whose coal-dependent state is helping lead the legal fight, hailed the court’s decision.

“We are thrilled that the Supreme Court realized the rule’s immediate impact and froze its implementation, protecting workers and saving countless dollars as our fight against its legality continues,” Morrisey said.

Many states opposing the plan depend on economic activity tied to such fossil fuels as coal, oil and gas. They argued that the plan oversteps federal authority to restrict carbon emissions, and that electricity providers would have to spend billions of dollars to begin complying with a rule that might end up being overturned.

Implementation of the rules is considered essential to the United States meeting emissions-reduction targets in a global climate agreement signed in Paris last month. The Obama administration and environmental groups also say the plan will spur new clean-energy jobs.

In opposing the request for delay, the EPA argued that states had plenty of time to comply with the requirements as the rule is rolled out over the next 6 years.

To convince the high court to temporarily halt the plan, opponents had to convince the justices that there was a “fair prospect” the court might strike down the rule. The court also had to consider whether denying a stay would cause irreparable harm to the states and utility companies affected.

The unsigned, one-page order blocks the rules from taking effect while the legal fight plays out in the appeals court and during any further appeal to the Supreme Court, a process that easily could extend into 2017.

Read the full article here

Blog · In The News · News · Think Energy SC

Why conservative South Carolina could actually be a sign of the future of U.S. energy

Friday, February 19, 2016

From the Washington Post:

Coastal South Carolina has long been recognized by locals and tourists alike for its warm waters, dazzling natural landscapes and prime seafood cuisine. But lately, communities up and down the shoreline have been making a name for themselves in another way: They’re leading the historically conservative state in a shift toward support for alternative energy and away from fossil fuel energy development.

In the past year, the waters off the coast of South Carolina have captured the federal government’s attention with their potential for several forms of energy development: offshore oil and gas drilling on the one hand, and offshore wind development on the other. And while both are mere proposals for now, they’ve garnered huge amounts of attention from local coastal communities — and it looks as though support for wind is winning by a long shot.

It’s a trend that’s been growing throughout the rest of the nation as well. Despite tumbling oil prices, the U.S. has been increasing its expansion of renewable energy, making major investments in both solar and wind energy. The country saw $56 billion worth of investments in clean energy last year, according to an analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and wind energy — alongside solar — is a growing interest. There are about 50,000 operating utility-scale wind turbines in the U.S., according to the American Wind Energy Association, with $100 billion invested in new projects since 2008.

And protests against the idea of offshore drilling, which has been proposed in regions up and down the Atlantic coast, have cropped up in many of the other Southeastern states as well, some of which have also been involved in talks with the federal government about the development of wind energy. What makes South Carolina notable, aside from its historically conservative stance on energy development, is the fact that its negotiations on oil and wind development are taking place at the same time. Coupled with the state’s recent expansion of solar power, the increasingly passionate energy debate in South Carolina points to a shift in public opinion that may mirror evolving attitudes toward alternative energy in the country as a whole.

“What we’re seeing is a transformation in views about what folks want,” said Christopher DeScherer, a managing attorney in the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Charleston, S.C., office. “Folks want cleaner forms of energy that create jobs that are consistent with the South Carolina Lowcountry and everything that folks care about in terms of fishing and recreation and that way of life.” Oil and gas drilling, he said, is not consistent with these values.

Drilling off the South Carolina coast?

The commotion over oil and gas drilling began more than a year ago when the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) began eyeing territory up and down the Atlantic coast for potential oil and gas development. The bureau released a draft proposal on January 2015 for a five-year oil and gas leasing program, which would go into effect from 2017 to 2022, on the outer continental shelf, including a region in the south Atlantic off the coast of South Carolina. Following a public comment period, the bureau began work on a second proposal which will be released this year.

The proposal has since raised bitter controversy in the Southeast, and particularly in coastal Carolina. According to a recent poll commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, 68 percent of South Carolinians support offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. This poll was cited in a recent letter to the editor published in the Charleston-based Post and Courier, written by Bonnie Loomis, executive director of the South Carolina Petroleum Council.

“Gas prices are at their lowest levels in a decade, largely due to surging U.S. energy production over the past dozen years,” she wrote. “Given these great results, it makes sense for South Carolina to join the American energy revolution, and we can also enjoy more than 35,000 new jobs across a variety of industries.”

Loomis, who mentioned that she grew up on the coast, also wrote, “Discussions about offshore energy exploration that ignore the large numbers of average South Carolinians who support the idea don’t tell the whole story.”

However, the most vocal opinions on the matter have come in the form of strong opposition from coastal communities, who are hoping to gain the support of Gov. Nikki Haley and ultimately have the region removed from BOEM’s list of proposed leasing areas.

According to a grassroots coalition called Don’t Drill Lowcountry, every coastal municipality in the state has passed a resolution opposing the drilling. And dozens of businesses along the coast have joined the coalition and expressed their opposition as well. Meanwhile, other states up and down the coast, including conservative Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia have also organized similarly vocal protests over their inclusion in the proposal.

Concerns about the drilling include the potential for large-scale spills, such as the Deepwater Horizon spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, according to Hamilton Davis, energy and climate director at the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League. In addition, citizens are concerned about the potential impacts of the day-to-day drilling operations on both humans and wildlife.

“Folks believe that drilling would threaten everything from the environment to the economy, which includes commercial and recreational fishing and tourism,” said DeScherer. “But overall I think the bottom line is folks realize this is simply inconsistent and would threaten the quality of life along the South Carolina coast.”

Advocates of the oil and gas industry have argued that drilling would be an economic boon to the Southeast, citing a 2013 report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and National Ocean Industries Association. However, a 2015 study prepared by the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey concluded that these benefits were overestimated — a finding that’s been much-publicized in the ongoing local debate.

The January 2015 proposal — which was just a draft — leaves plenty of room for changes before any final decisions are made and effected. A new proposed program, revised in response to public feedback, is supposed to be released early this year. Another public comment period will accompany that proposal, and that feedback will be used to issue a last proposed final program, which must then be approved by Congress. At any point along the way, zones may be removed from the list of proposed leasing areas.

All public feedback has the potential to be taken into account by BOEM between now and 2017, which is one reason the coastal communities have been so vocal. However, the most important feedback will come from policymakers, particularly state governors — which is why the communities have largely focused their efforts on pressuring Gov. Haley to change her stance on the drilling and request the state’s removal from the leasing zones. Haley has heretofore supported the drilling proposal.

The coastal communities are in a unique position to make a case on this issue, given the fact that they are the municipalities whose economies and way of life will be most affected if the proposal were to be enacted. And it’s likely that their concerns will be taken most seriously by their own elected officials. To that end, the communities’ arguments against drilling have largely centered on its potential impact on local economies — most notably, the fishing and tourism industries — as well as its threats to the unique ecology found along the shoreline.

And they’ve made headway already with other elected officials. South Carolina U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, a Republican, came out in opposition of the drilling last year and has since pushed strongly for the Obama administration to abandon its plans, citing his constituents’ overwhelming concerns about threats to tourism and the coastline’s natural resources.

Kickstarting offshore wind

Wind development in the region  is an even newer project. In November 2015, BOEM released a proposal to award commercial leases off the shore of South Carolina for wind energy development — a step that would help allow the U.S. to finally get its offshore wind industry, which is now getting started but currently lags behind countries like China and the UK, off the ground and into the water, so to speak.

The move is part of a broader strategy to develop wind farms up and down the Atlantic Coast, with 11 commercial wind energy leases having already been granted in other locations, according to BOEM director Abigail Ross Hopper, although development has not yet been completed on them. 

While the official announcement is only a few months old, the bureau had spent several years before that point discussing and narrowing down potential sites with representatives from federal, state, local and tribal governments, Hopper said.

By November, the bureau had identified four “call areas,” or areas that are potentially open for leasing. These call areas span regions up and down the length of the state. The bureau also opened a public comment period in November, which closed this week and also marked the deadline for wind developers to express an interest in leasing. As of Wednesday, Boem was expecting at least two nominations to develop either part or all of the four South Carolina call areas, according to an email from Tracey Moriarty, a public affairs officer with the bureau. “Upon their receipt, BOEM will review the nominations to assess the companies’ legal, technical, and financial qualifications,” she said in the email.

In the meantime, the response from coastal communities so far has been positive, according to BOEM officials. The bureau has already hosted three public meetings throughout the state to solicit input on the proposal, which BOEM environmental protection specialist Brian Krevor said were favorably received. “They were extremely well attended and we got some very good, well-informed questions from the public,” he said.

So far, only one major point of contention seems to have arisen in regard to the wind proposal. Some local organizations, including the Coastal Conservation League, feel that one of the call areas should be removed from the proposed leasing grounds on the basis of its environmental importance. The site, called the Cape Romain call area, is located close to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, known for its importance to native plants, marine life, birds and other wildlife. However, Davis stressed that the League otherwise supports offshore wind development in the state.

For now, both wind development and drilling are still up in the air. When it comes to oil leasing, BOEM still needs to submit several more proposals, the last of which must be submitted to Congress, before it can move forward with leasing, which would begin in 2021 at the earliest. And on the wind development front, the bureau will need to complete its review of the development nominations before assessing its next steps.

Many citizens along the coast appear to determined to continue pushing back against oil and gas drilling. Charleston newspaper The Post and Courier reported last monththat more than 400 businesses had presented Gov. Nikki Haley, who has supported the proposal, with a letter urging her to oppose the development.

Such action from the South Carolina coast is a notable development in a state whose leaders have often supported the interests of the fossil fuel industry. In 2015, for instance, South Carolina was among two dozen states that filed lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

But some experts feel that the recent activity is continued evidence of a growing shift in attitudes toward energy state-wide. Despite her support for oil and gas development, Gov. Haley also signed legislation into effect in 2014 loosening previous restrictions on solar energy. Since then, solar power initiatives have been expanding in the state.

“I think it does represent this dichotomy of perspective where traditional resources like oil and gas are not viewed as advantages to the state, whereas clean energies are being increasingly utilized and promoted through policy and also supported by public opinion,” said Davis.

And David Carr, another attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center specializing in alternative energy, noted that the interest in renewable energy has been a growing movement in recent years.

“I think this interest in the local communities in offshore wind, a clean, green, zero-carbon resource — that interest has been growing over time,” Carr said. “And I think this expression of interest is the culmination of increased interest in renewables — solar, wind, offshore wind — in South Carolina.”

Read the original article here

In The News · Media

Decision nears on oil and natural gas drilling offshore

Friday, February 19, 2016

From the Post and Courier:

Federal regulators are expected to announce in March whether they will propose leasing more offshore oil and natural gas exploration and drilling in the Atlantic, including off South Carolina, say environmental attorneys who are monitoring the decision.

The “best information” given to Southern Environmental Law Center attorneys is to expect a decision between March 14 and March 18, said center spokesman Mike Mather late Thursday. A Bureau of Ocean Energy Management spokeswoman did not immediately return an email asking for comment.

The leases would open up swaths of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Arctic for new oil and gas development. Meanwhile, a bill now in the U.S. Senate would give states the option to open up their own waters to testing closer the shore.

The issue cuts to the heart of coastal life, where people appear to largely support curbing exploration to protect marine life and a billion-dollar tourism economy. Industry spokespeople have argued that the work can be conducted without impacting the economy and while ensuring the safety of marine animals.

Most state political figures and others support exploring for potential economic benefits, even though the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has concluded that the work “may result in low immediate economic benefits for nearby communities.”

More than 100 coastal governments have come out against the proposed drilling, along with hundreds of businesses and business groups, and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of Charleston. Nearly all coastal communities in South Carolina have opposed it.

A coalition of governors, including Gov. Nikki Haley, worked largely behind the scenes with industry lobbyists to urge federal officials in the Obama administration to open the Southeast coast to oil and natural gas testing and drilling. In 2015, the Department of Interior included the region in its proposed areas for five-year leases that would open the waters to exploration with repeated blasts of seismic guns 50 miles or more offshore.

Read the original article here

Blog · Think Energy SC

Don’t Let Santee Cooper Block Solar!

Monday, August 24, 2015

As other South Carolina utilities are improving customer access to our abundant solar resource, Santee Cooper has proposed adoption of punitive rates for customers that want to produce some of their own power. If adopted, the proposal would represent one of the most aggressive anti-solar policies in the country and run counter to the pro-solar policies offered by SCE&G, Duke Energy, and most of the SC electric cooperatives.

Take a moment to submit comments to Santee Cooper by August 27th and protect your right to have solar work for you.

  • The proposed solar rates (DG-15) would make solar a cost prohibitive investment for Santee Cooper’s customers. The rates are so punitive that no one will invest in rooftop solar.
  • Across the state and the country, access to affordable solar power is enhancing customer choice and giving families and businesses an option for controlling their power bills.
  • This proposal conflicts with recent South Carolina legislation enacted to encourage solar and puts Santee Cooper customers in much worse shape than customers of SCE&G, Duke Energy, and most of the SC electric cooperatives.
  • The goal of Act 236, which passed unanimously by the General Assembly and was signed by Governor Haley, was to “promote the establishment of a reliable, efficient, and diversified portfolio of distributed energy resources for the State.”
  • Santee Cooper should abandon the current solar rate proposal in favor of proven policies adopted by other utilities, which pay solar customers a fair retail rate for the power they produce and take into account the value solar investments bring to the overall electric grid.

Submit your comments to Santee Cooper here: https://www.santeecooper.com/about-santee-cooper/proposed-rates-adjustment.aspx. 

When the General Assembly enacted and Governor Haley signed into law Act 236, it was considered landmark legislation for South Carolina with a goal of promoting more solar power in our state.

Make sure you aren’t left behind by asking Santee Cooper to carry out this vision for the state of South Carolina and for the benefit of their customers.

Click here to view a more complete analysis of the proposal.

Blog · Think Energy SC

Finding Common Ground to Expand Solar Energy in South Carolina

Monday, June 29, 2015

Signed into law by Governor Haley in 2014, Act 236 is a consensus bill developed by electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, solar power proponents, and conservationists to open the way for more distributed energy production in South Carolina.

Taken together, the bill’s key provisions – giving customers the freedom to lease solar, permitting utilities to introduce distributed energy programs, and ensuring equitable net metering rules – are complementary approaches that will expand customer options and increase cost-effective renewable power in South Carolina.

In December utilities, solar businesses, and conservation groups reached a settlement agreement on updated net energy metering rules for Duke Energy and SCE&G. The settlement agreement, which has been filed with the South Carolina Public Service Commission, is a critical step forward in implementing Act 236.

Net Metering

Although this issue has given rise to extensive controversy between solar supporters and utilities across the country, South Carolina stakeholders have once again been able to find common ground in efforts to expand solar energy opportunities for businesses and homeowners.

Rooftop solar panels produce power that is used by a home or business, but they can also push electricity back onto the grid to be used by other utility customers. Net energy metering is the term used for crediting that excess solar power at the retail electricity rate. Under the settlement, residential and commercial utility customers that install solar panels on their rooftops before 2021 will receive full retail credit for any excess power that flows back onto the electric grid and will be eligible to remain on this rate until December 31, 2025 without any solar specific charges or fees.

The settlement also establishes a methodology for valuing solar power for purposes of utility recovery of lost revenues, if any, which will be recoverable by the utilities through distributed energy resource programs that were authorized by Act 236. In 2020 the Public Service Commission will reevaluate the solar policies included in the settlement and will consider any appropriate changes at that time.

Full implementation of Act 236 is expected by this summer and will enable even South Carolinians of modest means to access solar energy. Distributed energy resources like solar are expected to enhance grid security, increase consumer independence, promote market competition, and reduce health costs from pollution.

 

Blog · In The News · Think Energy SC

Drilling would endanger S.C. coast

Sunday, March 8, 2015

If there is a single resource that exemplifies the best of what our state has to offer, it is surely the South Carolina coast: The beaches, salt marshes, creeks, estuaries, and wildlife are second to none. These resources permeate our culture and underpin the state’s $7 billion coastal tourism and fisheries economy.

And yet, somehow, many elected officials have lost sight of this fact.

In what can fairly be described as a colossal miscalculation, offshore oil and gas development is being touted as an appropriate economic development strategy for South Carolina.

It takes a short memory to forget that the largest environmental disaster in this nation’s history occurred less than five years ago. In 2010, the BP spill released over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The impact to the marine environment and coastal communities proved to be devastating. Tens of billions of dollars in damage was done to fisheries, tourism, and real estate, and the after-effects are still being felt today. The majority of the spilled oil was never recovered in the cleanup, and scientists are now connecting massive dolphin die-offs to the remnants of this manmade calamity.

Of course, the message from the oil and gas industry is the same today as it was before the BP catastrophe: Offshore drilling is safe.

We know conclusively that this simply isn’t true. Adding to the concern is the proposal for seismic testing along a majority of the Eastern seaboard during the oil and gas exploration phase. Fishing interests, marine scientists, and research institutions have been sounding the alarms over the negative impacts these seismic studies would have on commercial and recreational fisheries, sea turtles, and marine mammals, including the endangered Atlantic right whale.

Incredibly, any data collected from these seismic activities would remain proprietary. South Carolina and the public would have no access to the information gathered by private companies, thus making any cost-benefit analysis based on resource estimates impossible.

It is also important to remember many of our state geologists doubt that any sizeable reserves of oil and gas even exist off the South Carolina coast. Needless to say, that wouldn’t protect us from an accident off the coast of North Carolina or Virginia.

This draft offshore drilling proposal is far from a done deal, however. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the federal agency responsible for offshore drilling activities, is currently receiving public comments and holding public meetings to gauge support from coastal communities. That comment period is open until March 30, and a public meeting will be held in Mount Pleasant on Wednesday (March 11).

Coastal municipalities have already started to weigh in with their opposition to this proposal. Beaufort, Edisto, Port Royal and Isle of Palms have led the way by officially adopting resolutions opposing offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic. Many more towns and cities are expected to follow suit in the weeks to come.

(On Monday, March 9, at 6 p.m. at the American Theater in downtown Charleston, the Conservation League and the Charleston Surfrider Foundation will be hosting a film screening of “The Great Invisible,” a documentary detailing the aftermath of the BP oil spill on Gulf Coast communities. Discussion will follow.)

To invite the oil and gas industry to the waters off of South Carolina would represent one of the great moral failures of our time.

We are the current stewards of this state’s great coastal resources, and that means we have the responsibility to preserve and protect those resources for the generations that will follow us.

To compromise that responsibility isn’t in the best interest of anyone who calls South Carolina home.

Hamilton Davis is the energy program director for the Coastal Conservation League.

This op-ed originally ran in the Post & Courier on Sunday, March 8, 2015. View the original here.

Think Energy SC

Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce panel discussion on offshore drilling

Monday, February 2, 2015

Below are two clips that highlight the threat offshore drilling represents for South Carolina’s economy and environment. Video of the full panel discussion is also linked below.

Watch the full panel discussion here.

Think Energy SC

Speak Out Against Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic

Thursday, January 29, 2015

ariail-drilling-cartoon

 

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released its draft proposal for offshore drilling activities along the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The waters off the South Carolina coast are included in this plan.

A public comment period is open until March 30th, 2015. We encourage you to take a moment to tell BOEM that South Carolina opposes offshore drilling and should be excluded from this plan.

 

Take Action: Submit a comment to BOEM today!

 

Talking Points

  • Current estimates for reserves off the South Carolina coast equate to a 6-day supply of oil and gas at current US consumption rates. This meager amount of resources is not worth the risk to our coastal quality of life and natural resources.
  • South Carolina’s marine fisheries produce over a billion dollars annually in economic value, while outdoor recreation from coastal tourism generates over $7 billion in economic activity each year in our state. Embracing offshore drilling would mean the industrialization of our state’s coastline with oil and gas infrastructure, which is in clear conflict with the existing economic and environmental advantages enjoyed by our coastal communities.
  • As evidenced by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, a major spill can impact thousands of miles of coastline, devastate local economies, and wreak havoc on the marine and coastal environment. Therefore, any drilling allowed on the Atlantic OCS represents a threat to the South Carolina coast.
  • The impact of seismic testing on marine mammals, fish, other sea life and the surrounding ecosystem is also of serious concern.
  • NOAA has ranked the south Atlantic planning area as having the highest relative sensitivity to spilled oil along the East Coast. BOEM should remove South Carolina and its neighboring states from the Proposed Five-Year Program.

 

Other Ways to Get Involved

 

More Information

 
CAP-OCS-sharable
 
BOEM leasing chart 2
 
BOEM leasing chart 1
 
lease map
 

Think Energy SC

This Week’s News, January 22nd

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a panel discussion during the evening of Thursday, January 29th on the pros and cons of potential offshore oil and gas exploration and development on South Carolina’s economy and environment. The event is open to the public and will include participation from the SC Manufacturers Alliance and the SC Coastal Conservation League.

Click here for more details

At a recent press conference focused on offshore energy resources, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling stated, “I’m a child of the Lowcountry. I love what we have here, and I see no need for oil exploration and drilling. Why would we put at risk the wildlife, the jobs, the quality of life we enjoy?”

Read more here and here

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce recently announced its opposition to offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling.

Read more here

Click here to learn more about offshore drilling and its potential impacts to the South Carolina coast.

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