Photo above: Rep. Mark Sanford opposes offshore drilling at a rally at the Statehouse last week.
Last Tuesday, Feb. 13, Congressman Mark Sanford spoke at a rally opposing offshore drilling at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia.
He released the following statement:
“Those local voices that joined me today understand the unique look and feel of South Carolina’s coastline. They know the importance of tourism as an economic driver for our state. And they join every single coastal municipality in South Carolina in coming out against drilling off our coast.
“It was these issues that Secretary Zinke said informed the administration’s decision to exempt Florida from any offshore drilling plans through 2024. To not give South Carolina the same consideration would be inconsistent at best – and politics as usual at worst.
“Accordingly, a simple thank you to all of today’s participants who are uniting on this issue to send a compelling message to Washington. And a thank you to all the local leaders, businesses, and organizations who have dedicated their voices, time, and resources to this as well. If local input truly matters here, then it seems obvious that South Carolina’s exemption should be forthcoming.”
The same day, the Bureau of Ocean and Land Management (BOEM) was holding a public meeting in Columbia on the administration’s proposal to open nearly 90% of U.S. federal waters to offshore drilling activities, including off South Carolina’s coast. This meeting is part of a 60-day public comment period on the recently released draft five-year program (2019-2024) for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The draft plan includes 47 potential lease sales – the largest number ever proposed.
The public has until March 9 to comment on the draft proposed program, which is the first of two opportunities for public comment on the plan. Visit www.boem.gov/National-Program-Comment to submit a comment.
Sanford’s Actions in Opposition to Offshore Drilling:
He introduced the Coastal Economies Protection Act to place a 10-year moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic, a bill that is supported by a Coalition of over 60 groups.