Representative of the first District of Southern Carolina, Congressman Mark Sanford, joined local officials and others in the community to announce his opposition to permits for seismic testing and offshore drilling in the waters off the coast of South Carolina.
Mark Sanford said: “Those that join me today represent and understand the unique look and feel of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Unfortunately; their views would not be represented in the process for testing or permitting for offshore drilling until it is far too late under the current proposal.”
Sanford gave credit to local leaders from all political perspectives for being clear on this issue, and he thanked the communities for making evident their views on drilling off the coast of South Carolina.
His concerns were that under the seismic testing plan, South Carolina would not have full access to the testing data until after the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) had signed leases with the energy companies.
“In the case of South Carolina, weighing the balance between large blocks of untouched coastal estuarine areas, 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. In my view, it makes little sense to even conduct tests when the states and regions affected will have no say in the process of determining – especially when factoring potential impacts on the environment, tourism, along with other risks inherent in the process,” Sanford added.
In conclusion he said: “So based on the public input I have received, including nine towns in the First Congressional District, and given that there would not be enough transparency for South Carolinians to have an in-depth conversation about a path forward, I have asked the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not to move forward with seismic testing off the coast of South Carolina.”