Chip in to help us run the ad you see below in key South Carolina papers next week. This is our key moment to stop the oil exploration, save whales and protect our climate!
The East Coast has been protected from offshore drilling for decades, but everything could change for the worse in 2017. If drilling is allowed in the Atlantic, many businesses that depend on a healthy coastal environment will also be at risk. That's why coastal communities, businesses and lawmakers have been standing up against seismic blasting and Atlantic drilling for months as the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management gets ready to release a finalized five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leases that could include waters off South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. The controversial proposal is pitting coastal communities and environmental groups against state leaders who want to see drilling opened up for Big Oil profits.1
Many of us are skeptical of the economic benefits of drilling, which would come at the cost of marine life, the environment and a billion-dollar tourism industry. Given the significant environmental and climate impacts of drilling, along with the long time period the plan covers (2017 through 2022), President Obama is under pressure not to blow this big decision. He just announced a huge plan to halt coal leases on public lands, and gave a nod to the “keep it in the ground” crowd when he rejected the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But he has yet to show his hand on offshore oil drilling in the Southeast.2
No state will be more impacted by his decision than South Carolina, where 24 local governments along the coast, including Charleston and Myrtle Beach, have passed a resolution to formally oppose seismic testing and offshore drilling, in defiance of elected leaders like Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Lindsey Graham who support the proposal.
This is our moment! Chip in here to help get the attention of President Obama and his team to tell them we want an immediate halt to offshore oil exploration in the Southeast!
In the past year, the waters off the coast of South Carolina have captured the federal government’s attention with their potential for several forms of energy development: offshore oil and gas drilling on the one hand, and offshore wind development on the other. And while both are mere proposals for now, they’ve garnered huge amounts of attention from local coastal communities — and it looks as though local support for wind is winning by a long shot.2
Previous studies by Big Oil have ignored the fact that the Atlantic coast is already home to a $15 billion-a-year ocean economy built on tourism and sustainable fisheries. All of which is put in jeopardy by oil and gas development.3
This is our moment to raise our voices and stop it! The expanded use of seismic testing could devastate marine life, harming fisheries and coastal economies, especially in South Carolina. Please donate $5 or $10 to run this ad in key SC papers next week and show President Obama that we want an immediate halt to offshore oil exploration, then share with your networks through social media and email.
Thank you for everything you do,
Sally and the Save the Whales and Our Oceans Team at Environmental Action
1. Fretwell, Sammy. Small businesses ask Haley to join fight against oil and gas search, The State, December 16, 2015
2. Chelsea Harvey. Why conservative South Carolina could actually be a sign of the future of U.S. energy. The Washington Post. January 29, 2016.
3. Warrick, Joby. As decision nears, opposition builds to offshore drilling along Atlantic Coast. The Washington Post. December 20, 2015.