FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Hamilton Davis
The Obama Administration today released a draft proposal that would open areas off the South Carolina coast to oil and gas exploration and development. This proposal represents a fundamental threat to the people, wildlife and natural resources that exemplify the best of what makes South Carolina a special place to live and work.
Our state’s fisheries and ocean based tourism and recreation support nearly 79,000 jobs and generate over $4.4 billion in GDP each year in South Carolina. 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.
The Conservation League’s Energy Program Director, Hamilton Davis, said in response to the proposal, “At best, offshore drilling is a gamble for South Carolina. At worst, it is a reckless disregard for what makes this state such a great place to live and work. We will be focused on ensuring the public and our elected officials understand the implications of this proposal, so that their concerns can be adequately conveyed to federal regulators before any decisions are finalized.”
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.
As evidenced by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, a major spill can impact thousands of miles of coastline and wreak havoc on coastal economies and ecosystems. Therefore, any drilling allowed on the Atlantic OCS represents a threat to the South Carolina coast. The impact of seismic testing on marine mammals, fisheries, other sea life and the surrounding ecosystem is also of serious concern.