MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina lawmakers plan to present a bill that could prohibit offshore drilling in South Carolina during legislative session.
Earlier this month, President Trump’s administration approved 5 permits for companies to complete seismic airgun testing from New Jersey to Central Florida. This testing allows companies to harrass and harm sea animals while searching for oil and gas.
With South Carolina smack dab in the middle of New Jersey and Central Florida, state lawmakers are making it their mission to avoid offshore drilling at all costs.
“We have to stand up for our community,” Charleston County State Representative, Leon Stavrinakis, said.
Stavrinakis said many SC lawmakers have made it clear they are against testing and infrastructure for offshore drilling, and offshore drilling as a whole.
“People of the Lowcountry strongly oppose offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting,” said Congressman-elect, Joe Cunningham.
State representatives are proposing a pre-filed bill that could prohibit any state agency or local government from approving anything as it relates to offshore drilling.
“Any kind of infrastructure, permitting that would facilitate testing or drilling on South Carolina land or in our waters,” Stavrinakis said.
The goal is to make it difficult, or even impossible, for companies to want to drill off the coast.
“It makes it difficult to make offshore drilling succeed, if they can’t build onshore infrastructure,” Stavrinakis said. “Tanks, pipelines, container facilities, storage areas. All those things they need, we can prohibit. We will not have this infrastructure in South Carolina, it will not be welcomed.”
Stavrinakis said if the federal government insists on allowing offshore drilling throughout the country, state lawmakers will make sure it at least doesn’t happen in South Carolina.