Governor McMaster Signs Bill to Protect State from Offshore Drilling - Oceana USA

Governor McMaster Signs Bill to Protect State from Offshore Drilling

South Carolina’s Budget Prohibits Funds for Permitting, Planning or Licensing of Offshore Drilling Activities

Press Release Date: May 29, 2019

Location: Columbia, SC


Dustin Cranor, APR | email: | tel: 954.348.1314


Today, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed the state’s budget bill, which prohibits state or local government funds from being used to plan, permit or license any offshore oil and gas related activities for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019.

“South Carolina is sending a very clear message to President Trump – we don’t want offshore drilling here,” said Samantha Siegel, Oceana’s senior campaign organizer for South Carolina. “From our local communities and businesses to our state representatives and governor, we will fight to protect our beautiful beaches and coastal economies from the risk of a dirty and dangerous oil spill. We applaud Governor McMaster and the state legislature for taking a stand to protect our coast. We will remain vigilant in this fight until President Trump officially abandons his plan to radically expand offshore drilling.”

President Trump’s plan to radically expand offshore drilling to nearly all U.S. waters, including off the coast of South Carolina, has faced immense opposition. Governor McMaster’s signature reflects the sentiments of South Carolinians, where 27 municipalities and counties, including every coastal community in the state, have already adopted resolutions opposing offshore drilling. In South Carolina alone, offshore drilling threatens more than 86,000 jobs and roughly $5.1 billion in GDP.

As of today, opposition and concern over offshore drilling activities nationwide includes:

  • Every East and West Coast governor, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Oregon and Washington
  • More than 360 local municipalities
  • Over 2,200 local, state and federal bipartisan officials
  • Alliances representing over 46,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families
  • Pacific, New England, South Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils
  • Commercial and recreational fishing interests such as Southeastern Fisheries Association, Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Fisheries Survival Fund, Southern Shrimp Alliance, North Atlantic Marine Alliance, Billfish Foundation and International Game Fish Association
  • California Fish and Game Commission, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commission, California Ocean Protection Council and California Senate and Assembly
  • U.S. Department of Defense and the Florida Defense Support Task Force