For years, South Carolina has found itself in the middle of the national energy debate, specifically whether or not to allow oil and gas development off our shores.
That debate is sure to be rekindled soon, with newly-elected President Donald Trump signaling he is committed to expanding domestic development of energy resources. In fact, shortly after taking the oath of office, the White House posted an American First Energy Plan on its Web site, which includes a desire to “maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.”
“Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America,” adds the president’s energy policy statement.
Just days after taking office, the president put this policy into practice, signing executive orders to advance the long-delayed construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
"The choice is simple - build the pipeline, create jobs in the United States, and lessen our dependence on oil from the Middle East," said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) shortly after the president signed the orders.
The president’s direction on energy policy also is being welcomed Lowcountry resident William L. Schachte, a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, who serves as South Carolina’s volunteer chairperson for Vets4Energy.
"I am heartened by President Trump's early actions on energy security,” said Schachte. “His 'America First Energy Plan' and early actions to advance long-dormant energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone XL Pipeline, are a welcome sign that he's committed to moving us in the right direction. Hopefully, this means we will soon move forward to develop the abundant energy resources right off South Carolina's shores.”
Vets4Energy is a national organization of U.S. veterans who advocate policies that increase the country’s energy independence.
"For the past eight years, the politicians, the South Carolina media and a vocal minority of uninformed activists have quibbled over unrealistic energy wishes that have kept us behind,” said Schachte. “It now appears we'll finally join the rest of the world in moving forward to shore up our energy independence.”
Some environmental activist groups, criticized the president’s plan. The Natural Resources Defense Council, took aim at Trump’s energy plan, calling it “wrong-headed, short on details, and divorced from reality.”
Schachte, however, called the president’s plan “refreshing.”
Said Schachte, "President Trump’s refreshing approach to energy is geared to help our economy, increase our security, and because we’re Americans, do it better than all those other countries who are continuing to explore offshore."