S.C. lawsuit to ban offshore drilling moves forward, despite federal opposition

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A lawsuit filed by South Carolina to block offshore drilling has been cleared to move forward, after a federal judge ruled in favor of the state.

The lawsuit, which the federal government requested be dismissed, stems from a discrepancy regarding executive orders.

During President Obama’s term, he issued an executive order “withdrawing Outer Continental Shelf Lands belonging to the United States from being leased for oil and gas exploration.”

When President Trump took office, he issued an executive order effectively undoing Obama’s order.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson claims that “Congress gave presidents the authority to withdraw land from leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf but did not give presidents the power to reverse that decision and make such areas eligible again for leasing.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said that “South Carolina has plausibly set forth its claim” and “has made a sufficient showing at this stage of the litigation of the relationship between the President’s Executive Order and the challenged permits.”

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