Offshore drilling will torpedo SC tourism.

No one knows better about the importance of tourism to South Carolina than Beaufort County. The Beaufort City Council was the first local government in the state to publicly oppose the Obama Administration’s plans to drill off of our coast. Every coastal town and city in the state—everyone—followed suit.  Then-Governor Nikki Haley backed away from her initial support and, a year ago, the Obama administration excluded South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia from its drilling plans.

But under the Trump Administration, this vehemently opposed idea is back. He campaigned on saving the coal industry and increasing oil production even though scientists say we don’t need more of those expensive, environmentally damaging energy sources.

There are four reasons offshore drilling is a bad idea:

1) Infrastructure to support the rigs would have to be built right on the coast. There is no place suitable on the South Carolina coast for a fossil fuel industrial site.

2) Seeing the rigs off the coast would make our beaches less desirable tourist destinations. It would also put our state’s $19 billion tourism industry at grave risk should anything go wrong on the rigs.

3) Drilling for more oil will wipe out the coal industry that Trump said he wants to save.

4) We don’t need more oil drilling. Production ramped up in the Gulf of Mexico, and shale production hasn’t even come close to its pre-recession output. Last year, CNN reported that “many oil and gas companies can’t afford to drill anymore without losing money.” It isn’t regulation that’s causing that, it’s a glut of U.S. oil reserves caused by massive amounts of shale production via fracking.

Please encourage your local, state and federal elected officials to oppose Trump’s plans to drill off of our coasts. Republicans and Democrats alike agree that this as a huge threat to our state’s largest industry: tourism.

Lisa Allen
Beaufort, SC

Lisa Allen

 

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