South Carolina Legislature Extends Proviso Banning Offshore Drilling
Press Release Date: May 13, 2020
Location: Columbia, SC
The South Carolina Legislature adopted a Continuing Resolution to extend the current budget beyond June 30, 2020. In doing so, they retained the historic proviso passed last year 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, 2021, or until a new budget is adopted.
The proviso reflects the sentiments of South Carolinians, where 28 municipalities — including every coastal community in the state — have already adopted local resolutions opposing offshore drilling.
President Trump proposed expanding offshore drilling to nearly all federal waters, including the Atlantic Ocean. In response, state leaders, local municipalities and businesses along the East Coast are taking action to safeguard their communities and coastal economies from the risks of offshore oil drilling. While states may not have the authority to prevent drilling in federal waters, a yearly ban on infrastructure creates a strong deterrent for companies wishing to drill off South Carolina’s coast.
“We are relieved the legislature has ensured last year’s ban on offshore drilling continues. South Carolina lawmakers made it clear they are not willing to risk an oil spill ruining our idyllic beaches and productive fisheries,” said Samantha Siegel, Oceana’s senior campaign organizer for South Carolina. “Oceana will continue to fight for offshore drilling protections in South Carolina until we have permanently protected the Atlantic Ocean.”
Oceana applauds Gov. Henry McMaster, Attorney General Alan Wilson, Senator Chip Campsen, and their colleagues in the General Assembly for their efforts to protect their 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 also 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:
- Every single 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 380 East and West Coast municipalities
- Over 2,300 local, state and federal bipartisan officials
- East and West Coast alliances representing over 53,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families
- New England, South 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, Billfish Foundation and International Game Fish Association
- California Coastal Commission, California Fish and Game Commission and California State Lands Commission
- Department of Defense, NASA, U.S. Air Force and Florida Defense Support Task Force
A complete list opposition can be found here.