Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) joined locals officials and other community members Monday to voice his opposition to permits for seismic testing and offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina.
“Those that join me today represent and understand the unique look and feel of South Carolina’s Low Country,” Sanford said. “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.”
Under the seismic testing plan, data from the testing would not be available to South Carolina until after the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 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.” Sanford said. “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 said that based on the input he has received from the public amongst other factors, he has asked the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not to move forward with seismic testing off the coast of South Carolina.