This morning, Congressman Mark Sanford hosted a press conference where he clearly announced firm opposition to offshore drilling and exploration for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast, thus aligning with the sentiment of local coastal communities. Sanford expressed that the cost of the industry outweighs its potential benefits and that it is not a fitting industry for South Carolina. Moreover, he called out the highly secretive nature of the oil and gas exploration process and its inability to inform local elected officials’ decisions due to the proprietary nature of the information collected. To this end, he sent a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) requesting cancellation of plans to conduct oil and gas exploration off the South Carolina coast.
We welcome Congressman Sanford’s statements and appreciate the effort he has taken to truly represent his constituents’ interests by rejecting offshore drilling. Since last year, eleven coastal municipalities in South Carolina, including Georgetown, Charleston, and Beaufort, have passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling and oil & gas exploration off our coast, while business and conservation groups and numerous editorials have detailed the point that our coast is just too good to be spoiled with the offshore drilling industry. A total of 52 such resolutions opposing offshore drilling or exploration have been passed along the Mid- and South Atlantic coast.
Flanked by mayors and councilmen from at least 8 coastal municipalities during his statement today, Congressman Sanford expressed thanks to city government officials for taking leadership on this issue and acknowledged the need for state and federal government to respond accordingly.
We applaud Congressman Sanford for embodying good representative democracy this morning, by standing for the interests of his constituents over misinformed national rhetoric. We hope that other elected officials, such as Governor Haley and other coastal legislators at the state and federal levels are willing to show courage and engage in good governance by joining with Congressman Sanford and standing up for coastal citizens by rejecting offshore drilling.