This week, Gov. Henry McMaster signed the state’s annual budget into law, which is effective as of July 1, 2021. The final budget continues the state’s ban on any infrastructure to support offshore oil and gas drilling off South Carolina’s coast through a budget-related measure called a proviso. The historic proviso passed in 2019 with bipartisan support prohibiting any South Carolina state or local government funds from being used to plan, permit, or license any offshore oil- and gas-related activities for that fiscal year. This will remain in effect until June 30, 2022.
In 2020, President Trump issued a 10-year ban on oil drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The state ban reflects the sentiments of South Carolinians, where 28 municipalities — including every coastal community in the state — have already adopted local resolutions opposing offshore drilling and protecting state waters.
“South Carolina continues to make it clear that we are not willing to risk an oil spill ruining our idyllic beaches and productive fisheries,” said Samantha Siegel, Oceana’s senior field representative for South Carolina. “Oceana continues to fight for South Carolina and is calling on President Biden to permanently protect the Atlantic Ocean from dirty and dangerous offshore oil drilling.”
Earlier this year, Oceana released an analysis finding that permanent offshore drilling protections for unleased federal waters could prevent over 19 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as more than $720 billion in damages to people, property, and the environment. Oceana is calling on President Biden to permanently protect our coasts from offshore drilling to ensure the future of our coastal economy, which depends on a healthy ocean and helps address the growing climate crisis. “By permanently protecting our coast from dirty offshore drilling and advancing clean energy sources like offshore wind, we can simultaneously safeguard our clean coast economy and help combat climate change,” said Oceana campaign director Diane Hoskins.
Oceana applauds Gov. Henry McMaster, Attorney General Alan Wilson, Sen. Chip Campsen, and their colleagues in the General Assembly for their efforts to protect our coast. This continuation of the proviso honors the strong opposition to offshore drilling in South Carolina.
Along with Gov. McMaster, every other East and West Coast governor has voiced opposition to drilling off their coast. California, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon have already enacted various laws to block new offshore drilling.
As of today, opposition and concern over efforts to radically expand offshore drilling activities in U.S. waters includes:
A complete list opposition can be found here.