Jack Scoville, Mayor, Georgetown, SC
"...The series of procedural steps that must take place before an oil rig can be operational and therefore offer employment opportunities for local residents is nearly two decades. The job benefits that the Gulf states enjoy were generations in the making, and still those state rank alongside South Carolina in their levels of poverty.
If the oil industry is able to withstand market changes for 20 years and bring jobs to Georgetown, our citizens will be competing nationally for the most dangerous low-skill, high-return positions. If they succeed, they will join an industry whose employees are seven times more likely to die on the job than the average American worker.
Our only other prospective economic benefit from offshore drilling would be if a refinery and other related processing facilities, like those located in the Louisiana region called "cancer alley" by residents, came to Georgetown. A refinery would not only ruin our revitalized boardwalk and historic area, it would commpromise our health, our tourism, and our fishing industry"
Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Mayor, Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Says No To Offshore Drilling and Seismic Testing
Last night, the City Council of Charleston, South Carolina passed a resolution to oppose offshore drilling and seismic testing in the Atlantic. The resolution is timely as the U.S. Department of Interior has recently proposed opening the Atlantic to offshore drilling and is seeking comments on the proposal until Tuesday, March 30. Charleston’s resolution will be passed on to the Dept. of Interior as an indication of local opposition to their proposal.
Billy Keyserling, Mayor, Beaufort, SC
Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, left, discusses the threats that offshore oil and gas development will have on South Carolina’s healthy ocean ecosystems, fisheries and tourism, while highlighting the benefits of offshore wind, including its ability to produce more jobs and energy while at the pavilion at Waterfront Park in January. THEOPHIL SYSLO THE (HILTON HEAD) ISLAND PACKET
“People are thanking me for doing this,” Keyserling said. “No one on the street likes this idea. They have this vision of what happened on the Gulf Coast. They figure (tourism) is our golden egg, so why put it at risk?”
Hilton Head Island is adding its name to a growing roster of South Carolina municipalities opposed to oil drilling off the Palmetto State's coast.
This week town staff and Mayor David Bennett will pen letters opposing offshore drilling and the seismic testing used to find undersea oil to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Town Council unanimously and enthusiastically supported sending the letters Tuesday evening.
"The question is, 'What legacy are we going to put forward to future generations?' " Bennett asked. "I really think this is an issue that has a tremendous opportunity to impact what that legacy is." The move will put Hilton Head in a growing pack of municipalities, led by Beaufort City Council and Port Royal Town Council, that have passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling operations. Read more here
David Bennett, Mayor, Hilton SC
Chip Campsen, III, State Senator, Beaufort, Charleston & Colleton Counties
The Senate District I represent is a long coastal district covering more than 80 miles of South Carolina’s coast. It runs from Bulls Bay in Charleston County, to Port Royal Sound in Beaufort County. Having extensively navigated the Atlantic coast from Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, to Dry Tortugas, Florida, I can attest it is the most historic, unique and beautiful stretch of the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida.
My service in the South Carolina Senate is part-time. In the private sector I am an attorney, own a passenger vessel company and hold a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Captain’s License. Several of my passenger vessels were constructed in Louisiana and the Panhandle of Florida. I delivered these vessels to Charleston by transiting the Gulf of Mexico.
I do not support drilling for oil and gas off South Carolina’s coast. I share the concern most often raised, namely the risk of damage to the environment and our vibrant tourism industry in the event of a spill. However, I wish to offer an additional perspective as well. This perspective is rarely raised and is not contingent upon an improbable catastrophic event such as an oil spill to impact our coast. If we embrace offshore drilling in South Carolina this factor will impact our coast definitively and continuously. Let me explain.
Myrtle Beach Sun News, Carolyn Murray, Editor-in-Chief
It’s perfectly obvious to many people that pumping crude oil offshore in the Atlantic Ocean is not a good match for a tourism economy so it’s troubling that local governments did not speak out for the environment – and the area economic mainstay – when they had an opportunity.
The cities of Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, the towns of Surfside Beach and Atlantic Beach and Horry County government should have joined 20 communities in the Carolinas, including Charleston, and gone on record against offshore oil production. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management received thousands of comments.
Instead, elected officials in the Coastal Alliance, which includes Horry County and coastal municipality leaders, say they will take a wait-and-see approach on seismic testing and offshore drilling. Wait and see what?
...“No one wants to see oil spills, but we’re not at that point,” Surfside Beach Mayor Doug Samples notes in explaining his position that it’s too soon to take a position for or against drilling. That may be, but it is not too soon to be on record for the protection of the environment and the economy.
Markey, 11 Senate Colleagues Push Obama Admin. to Reject East Coast Drilling
Monday, March 9, 2015 - Full Article
A whale of a fight is brewing over Atlantic coastal drilling
Feb 26, 2015
WASHINGTON — Oil and gas companies hoping to drill in the Atlantic Ocean will have to contend with a new federal proposal to declare waters off the Carolinas and Georgia as critical for endangered whales.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a huge expansion in the critical habitat area for endangeredNorth Atlantic right whales. The new area would include coastal waters from Georgia to Cape Fear, N.C.
The proposal comes as nine companies have applied to use seismic cannons to start exploring for oil and gas in the Atlantic, including in areas that would be deemed critical habitat for the endangered whales.
Claire Douglass, a campaign director for the environmental group Oceana, called the new critical habitat proposal a potential “game changer” for her group’s attempt to block the seismic exploration program.
“These seismic air guns are extremely dangerous and can harm the ability of marine mammals to hear, feed and survive,” she said.
The seismic surveys are done with compressed air guns that blast as loud as a howitzer under the sea, repeated every 10 seconds or so for weeks at a time.
Associated Press 4-22-15
ROCKVILLE, S.C. (AP) — The small coastal hamlet of Rockville in Charleston County is the latest coastal community in the Carolinas to go on record opposing offshore drilling.
The town council on Monday approved a resolution saying that offshore drilling would threaten the economy of coastal communities as well as fish and marine mammals.
Rockville is the 21st community in the Carolinas to go on record opposed to offshore drilling or exploration for fossil fuels. Last month Charleston became the largest municipality in South Carolina opposed to drilling.
Isle of Palms: Opposition grows to offshore oil, natural gas exploration
Bo Petersen 2-19-15
A groundswell of Lowcountry coastal towns and cities is gathering to oppose exploring for natural gas or oil offshore, as environmental groups push communities before public meetings on the issue in March and April.
The issue cuts to the heart of coastal life, where people and interests are divided between exploring for potential economic benefit, or restricting exploration to protect marine life and a billion-dollar tourism economy.
The rally is being stirred partly by the communities’ own concerns and partly by the environmental groups, trying to counter a perception that the state largely supports the permits. The governor as well as much of the state Legislature has publicly supported, at least, the testing. FULL ARTICLE
Rockville Becomes 52nd Coastal Community to Formally Oppose Atlantic Drilling or Exploration
The Legion of Concerned Leaders
‘We’re not for sale’: Coastal leaders at odds with S.C., federal officials on offshore drilling
BY SAMMY FRETWELL 03/27/2015 9:55 PM More
Georgetown opposes offshore drilling, becomes 50th to do so
Taylor Griffith South strand News
Georgetown is the 10th South Carolina city and the 50th coastal city to pass a resolution opposing the activities.
At its March 26 workshop, Mayor Jack Scoville asked the item be put on the meeting agenda for consideration.
“Personally I am very much against this,” Scoville said. “We need to transition away from oil. I’ve been approached by various groups with a request for the city to do a resolution.”
At the March meeting, several council members expressed opposition to drilling.
“I’m totally against it,” agreed Councilman Brendon Barber. “When we have oil spills, the oil that comes is just devastating. The only people that really benefit from the drilling are large property owners who sell to oil companies. As for South Carolina in this coastal region, I don’t see it.” Rest of the Story
Rep. Sanford Letter to Mr. Geoffrey Wikel [BOEM] on Offshore Drilling
In the case of South Carolina, weighing the balance between large blocks of untouched coastal estuarine area, and in other parts an established tourism industry, against the potential benefits of drilling is not something that Washington officials are best positioned to do. The infrastructure alone that is needed to service the offshore drilling industry would be a jarring change to many who have come to enjoy the unique look and feel of what we call the Lowcountry of South Carolina.
So based on public input I have received, based on the resolutions of nine towns that I represent, based on the industrial nature of shore operations not fitting with current coastal land use patterns, and based on the seismic testing plan currently under discussion not providing enough transparency for South Carolinians to have an in depth conversation about the path forward, I would respectfully ask you not move forward with testing off the coast of South Carolina. MORE
Waterkeepers Let Wickel [BOEM]Know of Their Opposition
On behalf of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, I am writing to express strong opposition to the inclusion of the Mid- and South Atlantic planning areas in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s draft 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is a coalition of 18 independent Waterkeeper programs located in the Chesapeake Bay region, including the Assateague Coastkeeper at Assateague Coastal Trust and the Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is submitting these comments on behalf of all 18 programs and the residents they represent in recognition that allowing offshore drilling for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast will have vast and long-lasting impacts on this region’s environment, public health, economy and communities. The cumulative effects of offshore drilling need to be considered.place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.
The Atlantic Should be Removed from Consideration from BOEM’s 2017-2022 OCS Resource Plan.
Representative Patricia Moore "Pat" Henegan - Marlboro County
I want to go on record expressing my opposition to a draft federal proposal to drill for oil and gas off South Carolina’s coast. The coast of South Carolina is one of the state’s most treasured jewels, attracting millions of visitors annually who enjoy our beautiful, wide beaches, marine wildlife, saltwater fishing, as well as our coastal history, culture, arts and natural heritage.
Our coastal wetlands are considered among the most diverse ecosystems in the world, providing habitats for more than 100 plant and fish species, waterfowl, game animals such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey, and other wildlife. Wetlands also act as filters to improve water quality, store water in drought and reduce flooding during storms.
Any spill resulting from offshore oil production would be devastating to the environment, putting our beaches and coastal wetlands at risk, destroying wildlife and damaging the state’s recreation, tourism, fishing and hunting industries. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management last month stopped taking public comments on what information should be considered in environmental studies of drilling off the coast of the Carolinas and other states. I join the growing chorus of individuals, towns and cities in our state opposing offshore drilling and will do what I can to conserve our natural resources. Please feel free to call me to express your opinion. SEE BIO
Pawley's Island Scientist Opposes Drilling
Marine Biologist and Coastal Carolina Professor Dan Abel, in an article on the recent Earth Day observance, pointed to "the spectre of offshore oil and gas exploration" as one of a number of concerns in which "we have continued to make dangerous choices that wil remake our presence on the planet in unimaginably horrific ways." Abel, a native of Charleton, says that President Obama hopes to leave a legacy supporting climate change, while "at the same time he inexplicably opens pristine areas to destructive exploration practices and dangerous drilling. What are the chances of a catastrophic spill? 100 percent."
Dr. Abel is a senior fellow with the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. 4-30-15
SC Congressman Clyburn Opposes Offshore Drilling
Sixth District Representative Jim Clyburn, normally a staunch Obama supporter, expresses disagreement with the President on drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean.
Drilling off of the coast of South Carolina, he feels, could lead to problems similar to those that residents of the Gulf of Mexico have been struggling to recover from.
Clyburn is a strong proponent of alternative energy and believes that South Carolina would be better served by pursuing paths to the future. He would support turbine wind farms off the SC coast for generation of electricity.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh Joins Opponents of Offhore Drilling in the Atlantic
In written comments submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Frosh said that Maryland’s natural resources would be degraded in what he called an unnecessary and unwise process of exploring for oil and gas.
“The idea of allowing oil exploration along the Atlantic Coast is beyond foolish. Half of the water in the Chesapeake Bay comes from the Atlantic Ocean. Beaches like the Assateague Island National Seashore are some of the most unspoiled in the nation. We would be jeopardizing the very assets we are working so hard to preserve.”
“There is just no way to eliminate the risks of spills and blowouts.The cumulative effect of small leaks can be as damaging as huge disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. Maryland’s tourism economy, fishing economy and natural resources would all be at risk if this unnecessary plan moves forward.”
Columbia council joins growing tide against off-shore drilling (The State)
Columbia City Council voted Tuesday night (5-5-15) to oppose offshore oil and gas development, a proposal already denounced by more than a dozen local governments in South Carolina.
Tuesday's vote in the state's capital city was the first by an inland municipality in South Carolina against offshore energy exploration and drilling, environmentalists said.
Columbia's stance follows a push by conservation groups that for months have been rallying support against federal plans to allow drilling and exploration off the Carolina coast. Charleston, Hilton Head Island, Georgetown and Beaufort are among the coastal cities in South Carolina to take similar positions. FULL ARTICLE
Charleston County Council Passes Resolution Formally Opposing Atlantic Drilling and Exploration (5-5-15)
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- The City of Columbia and Charleston County have gone on record opposing offshore seismic surveys and drilling for oil and natural gas.
Both governments passed resolutions Tuesday night, making 23 communities in the Carolinas on record against exploring for fossil fuels off the coast of the Carolinas.
State regulators in both states in recent weeks have signed off on proposals by survey companies to conduct seismic tests offshore. The states have put a number of conditions on the proposals.
State waters extend only 3 miles from the shore and the testing will be done in federal waters, much farther offshore. But each state was allowed to certify whether the testing is consistent with state coastal zone programs.
McClellanville & Murrell's Inlet, SC - Today (5-5-15), both the shrimping Town of McClellanville and Preserve Murrells Inlet, Inc. (a community organization speaking for the unincorporated village of the “Seafood capital Of South Carolina”) have both adopted resolutions against seismic testing and offshore oil exploration. The recreational and commercial fishing business is vital to the economy of these Coastal South Carolina areas.As of today, 14 municipalities in South Carolina have passed similar resolutions or formally opposed seismic blasting and offshore drilling, including Beaufort, Charleston, Edisto Beach, Folly Beach, Georgetown, Hilton Head, Isle of Palms, James Island, Port Royal, Sullivan’s Island, and Rockville, Columbia and The County of Charleston. The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and the James Island Public Service District, as well as more than 50 municipalities along the East Coast, have also passed resolutions opposing offshore oil exploration and/or development in the Atlantic Ocean.
Virginia Beach, VA – Today, the Virginia Beach Resort Advisory Committee joined the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association, the Virginia Beach Hotel Association, the Dare County Tourism Board, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, and other industry groups in publicly opposing offshore oil exploration and development off the East Coast. The move, which comes after months of presentations from both sides of the debate, highlights the fears of local industry representatives who say the federal government’s plan to expand offshore drilling to the Atlantic Ocean threatens coastal communities, economies, fisheries and marine mammals.
“Opposition to East Coast drilling is growing every day, and Virginia Beach industry groups have started voicing their opposition as well,” said Caroline Wood, campaign organizer at Oceana. “Opening up the Atlantic to offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business. There are countless risks – industrialization of the coast, significant danger to whales, dolphins, and sea turtles, and the threat of a catastrophic oil spill near our beaches and the Chesapeake Bay – with little to no reward. Coastal communities have the most to lose, especially in a community like ours, where tourism accounts for billions of dollars and thousands of jobs for local residents.”
BY MAYA T. PRABHU
Myrtle Beach City Council on Tuesday became the second Grand Strand municipality to oppose offshore drilling and oil and gas exploration along the S.C. coast.
Council voted 6-1, saying they wanted to protect the beaches from potential oil spills. Councilman Randal Wallace voted against the resolution.
“In my opinion – this is Mike’s opinion – it’s not a matter of if, it would just be a matter of when,” Councilman Mike Lowder said of the potential of an oil spill making its way to Myrtle Beach beaches. “After some soul searching, I’m not going to be a part of it. ... I’m not going to support anything that’s going to have the potential to destroy our beach.”
Myrtle Beach becomes the 18th S.C. government to pass a resolution opposing offshore drilling, according to Oceana, an environmental group opposing Atlantic drilling. Atlantic Beach Town Council passed a similar resolution last week.
Read more here:
“THIS OFFSHORE DRILLING IS NOT GOING TO BE ANY BENEFIT TO THIS COUNTY AND THIS CITY, EVER."
Mayor John Rhodes
North Myrtle Beach City Council – with no discussion – voted unanimously Monday in support of a resolution that opposes offshore drilling and oil exploration along the South Carolina coast.
The resolution was included in the consent agenda, which is for items that all council members agree upon. Council voted 6-0 in favor of the resolution. Mayor Marilyn Hatley was not at the meeting.
About 20 area residents opposed to offshore drilling, many wearing Oceana shirts and carrying signs, attended the meeting in hopes of voicing their concerns to City Council. Oceana is an environmental group opposed to offshore drilling.
Earlier this month, Atlantic Beach Town Council approved a similar resolution and Myrtle Beach City Council voted to oppose drilling last week. North Myrtle Beach becomes the 19th government body in South Carolina to do so.
North Myrtle Beach Stands Tall in Opposition to Offshore Drilling
NMB City Council