Ralliers From Around the State Oppose Offshore Drilling at the Statehouse

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- The Trump Administration proposed an offshore plan to obtain oil by drilling in the ocean, which could include drilling off our coast here in South Carolina.

Many made their way from our coast to the state house to explain why they feel the plan will do more harm than good. Though many of the ralliers came from the Lowcountry, some folks from the Midlands say the outcome will impact us all.

Carol and Marion are from the Midlands but they joined dozens of others from around the state who came out to stand against offshore drilling saying oil rigs would be an eyesore and a safety hazard for our ecosystem.

“What’s good for one part of South Carolina is good for all of us in South Carolina,” said Carol Roberts of Lexington. “I want to protect all of our coasts for the future, for my future grandchildren to enjoy it like I have.”

The rally comes after the U.S. Department of Interior excusedFloridaa from the plan after state leaders spoke out against it. South Carolina leaders hope to have the same effect.

“All decisions do not need to be made in Washington. Decisions can be made at a state and local level. So I think this issue transcends the issue of offshore versus not but goes to the heart of what we believe as South Carolinians,” said Congressman Mark Sanford.

“There’s no place along our coastline to put the kind of infrastructure that is necessary for that work to be done. South Carolina is unique in a lot of ways, this is one of them. We will continue making the case and we will hopefully make the right decision,” said Governor Henry McMaster.

While many leaders from both major parties are against any offshore drilling, the lieutenant governor says we need to continue to investigate before writing off the idea.

“A lot of folks think we have natural gas offshore but we don’t know until we explore and the risks of natural gas are far less than petroleum oil so we need to explore and then make an informed decision,” said Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant.

Governor McMaster requested South Carolina be exempted from the plan as well. He said President Trump has not responded to that request but has been in talks with Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

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