Is the Obama Administration’s decision to bar oil and gas drilling off South Carolina’s shores good or bad for the Palmetto State?
While environmental activists are cheering the move, one South Carolina veteran leader says it marks a big loss for South Carolina.
“This decision puts unwarranted fear above sound science, and politics over national security,” said William L. Schachte, Real Admiral U.S. Navy (ret).
Schachte is the volunteer chairman of South Carolina Vets4Energy, a national group of veterans advocating for energy policies that boost national security. He said the decision to bar drilling will impact national security and local jobs.
“The Administration’s decision will cost our country in the national security that energy independence provides,” said Schacthe. “It will cost South Carolina in tax revenue and good paying jobs, many which could've been filled by veterans.”
The energy industry echoed Schachte's sentiments.
“The decision appeases extremists who seek to stop oil and natural gas production which would increase the cost of energy for American consumers and close the door for years to creating new jobs, new investments and boosting energy security,” said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. “This is not how you harness America’s economic and diplomatic potential."
The Obama Administration’s decision impacts the area known as the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), located off the shores of mid-Atlantic states, from Virginia to Georgia.
Previous testing found the Atlantic OCS to hold as much as 4.7 billion barrels of oil and 37 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Many experts, however, believe those numbers of conservative and that modern testing would find significantly greater reserves.