A strong majority of South Carolina voters back oil and gas drilling off South Carolina’s shores, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by the Harris Poll for the American Petroleum Institute, found that 67 percent of Palmetto State voters support “offshore development of U.S. oil and natural gas resources.”
According to Bonnie Loomis, executive director of the South Carolina Petroleum Council, much of the support can be trace to the economic benefits of domestic energy production.
"A strong bipartisan majority of voters in South Carolina continue to support producing more domestic energy and creating more jobs in the state," said Loomis. “Cutting-edge technologies and a core value of safety have helped make the U.S. the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world while protecting the environment and creating jobs in South Carolina.”
92 percent of voters surveyed said that an increase in oil and natural gas production could lead to more jobs in the U.S., and 86 percent said that the increased production could help lower energy costs.
According to U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.) William Schachte Jr., the economy isn’t the only factor spurring support or offshore energy production.
“South Carolina voters, many of us veterans, are patriotic and know that more energy produced here at home means greater national and economic security for our country,” Schachte told Palmetto Business Daily.
“The question is simple: Do we want to produce more of our energy here at home, or continue to buy it from countries who don’t share our best interests or values?” said Schachte, who also volunteers as South Carolina chair of Vets4Energy.
Schachte pointed to the survey results, which showed that 84 percent of those surveyed said increased domestic oil and gas production “could help strengthen America’s national security by lessening the negative impacts of political instability occurring in other parts of the world.”
The Harris Poll conducted the survey January 22 to January 31, 2016 among 600 registered South Carolina voters.