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What is the issue?
Rising gas prices and election year politics are again making offshore drilling a hot topic in 2012. Areas along the Atlantic seaboard that have been off limits for decades are becoming available for oil and natural gas exploration and development, and SC could get more than it bargained for if these industries find their way to our coastal communities. Available geologic evidence suggests there are minimal deposits of oil and gas off our coast, but the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is currently considering the allowance of exploration activities off the SC coast.
How would it affect South Carolina?
In the best case scenario, SC wastes time and resources preparing for an industry that never arrives due to a lack of oil and gas reserves off the coast. In the worst case scenario, SC is exposed to the environmental degradation that accompanies the oil and gas industry. Large spills from storm activity, air and water pollution, and negative impacts on quality of life have accompanied this industry in the Gulf of Mexico, and we could expect same for SC.
What can you do about it?
The US controls 3% of the world’s oil reserves but represents 25% of global consumption. This means drilling our way to independence and lower gas prices is not possible. Instead, we should be focusing on investments in renewable energy alternatives and efficiency. Tell your elected officials that SC must make the development of our clean, local sources of energy a priority. Learn more about this topic by visiting the links provided at the bottom of this page.
- SC can focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy development without the distraction a lengthy offshore permitting process
- Our beaches, coastal communities, and estuaries will be free from the threat of oil spills
- Every hurricane season will bring the threat of oil spills that could undermine our tourism industry, quality of life, and coastal ecosystems
- Oil refineries and other onshore activities would negatively impact water and air quality along the coast
- An extended permitting process for offshore drilling would demand time and resources that could otherwise be used for the development of our renewable energy resources
Related LinksCCL Comment Letter to MMS on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration
SC Department of Commerce comments on offshore natural gas (2008)
Expert -No oil off the SC coast
Support the Gulf Restoration Network
The Facts About Offshore Drilling
SC Board of Economic Advisors letter on offshore drilling
2 Months Later - Pictures From the Gulf
What if oil reaches the SC coast?
CCL Comment Letter to MMS on Offshore Oil and Gas Development
Offshore Drilling Overview 2012
BOEM Information on Exploration
CCL comments to BOEM on oil and gas exploration in the South Atlantic