May 09 2017

Charleston Officials, Conservation League Oppose Offshore Drilling Order

By Meredith Poston, Island Eye News Staff Writer

President Trump has signed a new executive order directed at opening vast areas of the East coast for oil and gas exploration projects. This order, which was signed on Friday, April 29, includes a review of current regulations overseeing President Obama’s five year drilling plan.

The current plan includes a ban on offshore drilling in large sections of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans; Trump’s decision to review and possibly remove the ban is part of the current administration’s promise to reduce the existing dependence on foreign oil, as well as to create jobs. The President’s decisions are being met with fierce opposition from environmental activists, as well as local politicians.

After making a public statement that President Trump had signed the executive order, City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, Isle of Palms Mayor Dick Cronin, Sullivan’s Island Mayor Pat O’Neil, and Edisto Beach Mayor Jane Darby gathered at the waterfront Charleston Maritime Center to express opposition. Joining them were conservation advocates from the Coastal Conservation League; Oceana; Conservation Voters of South Carolina; the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; and Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic.

Offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast has never made sense, yet is today, more than ever, an outrightly absurd proposal. Offshore drilling would threaten our booming coastal tourism economy, while providing virtually no tangible benefit for the vast majority of people — not cheaper gas, more jobs, or energy independence,” stated Chris Carnevale, Coastal Climate & Energy Manager at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “East coast residents, businesses, and local governments unequivocally rejected offshore drilling proposed by President Obama, and likewise will not take kindly to President Trump’s careless move that puts our coast at risk once again.”

If put into place, this order could open areas off the coast of South Carolina, as well as Virginia and North Carolina that have been blocked from drilling for several decades in environmental protection efforts.

The Coastal Conservation League has set up a petition for South Carolina Governor McMaster in objection to President Trump’s order. Visit: McMaster “Oil and water just don’t mix,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.

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