WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAV) – A South Carolina Congressman won a battle in the war against offshore drilling.
The House voted to officially ban offshore drilling off of the Pacific, Atlantic and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
South Carolina Representative Joe Cunningham tells News 3 this was a goal he promised during his campaign.
“You can’t live in South Carolina’s Low Country and not feel protective of our natural resources. They define the Lowcountry. The beauty just simply takes your breath away and that’s why South Carolinians on both sides of the aisle have sent a message loud and clear — we don’t want offshore drilling and we don’t need offshore drilling,” said Cunningham.
Rep. Cunningham says clean ocean jobs from tourism and fishing are vital to the economies of coastlines up and down the Pacific Shores as well as the Atlantic.
“The risk there is we’ve seen what happened with the Gulf in Louisiana; especially with the oil spills down there. Birds were covered with oil and oil was washed up on the beaches down there. . . . Our rivers and our waterways are our way of life. It’s what makes us who we are and we cannot jeopardize that,” said Cunningham.
Now some are hopeful this vote will end the threat of offshore drilling even though more hurdles are ahead in Congress.
The bill could face an uphill battle in the Senate. Opponents say this could increase dependence on foreign oil.
The ban has the support of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.