Yet Another SC Coastal Community Opposes Offshore Exploration and Drilling

21 Oct Yet Another SC Coastal Community Opposes Offshore Exploration and Drilling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2015
Contacts:  Samantha Siegel, 843.367.3664(cell) or ssiegel@oceana.org
Dustin Cranor, 954.348.1314(cell) or dcranor@oceana.org

South Carolina’s Coastal Communities Unite in Opposition to Offshore Drilling and Seismic Airgun Blasting

Briarcliffe Acres Becomes 23rd SC Community to Call on Gov. Haley and Pres. Obama to Stop Seismic Airgun Blasting and/or Offshore Drilling
 

BRIARCLIFFE ACRES, SC – Today, Briarcliffe Acres became the latest community in South Carolina to come out against offshore drilling off the state’s coast, an area that has been closed to such activities for more than three decades. Briarcliffe Acres town council unanimously passed a resolution opposing offshore drilling and seismic blasting. In total, 23 municipalities in South Carolina have formally opposed seismic airgun blasting and/or offshore drilling, representing 100% percent of coastal cities and towns in the state.

 

“Governor Haley should be listening to the voices of those she was elected to serve,” said Samantha Siegel, campaign organizer at Oceana. “South Carolina’s coastal communities are united against offshore drilling. While coastal communities like Briarcliffe Acres have the most to lose, their voices are going unheard in Columbia and Washington. Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business that would threaten 79,000 jobs and $4.4 billion that is provided to the state each year through fishing, tourism and recreation. Governor Haley shouldn’t be risking the way of life of her coastal communities on false promises from Big Oil.”

 

While the Obama administration considers opening a large swath of the Atlantic Ocean, from Virginia to Georgia, to offshore drilling, opposition continues to mount. As of today, 85 East Coast municipalities<http://usa.oceana.org/seismic-airgun-testing/grassroots-opposition-atlantic-drilling>, roughly 600 local, state and federal officials from both sides of the aisle, such as Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and James Clyburn (D-SC),  more than 300 coastal businesses<http://environmentamerica.org/sites/environment/files/resources/Small%20businesses%20against%20offshore%20drilling_0.pdf>, over 160 conservation and animal welfare organizations<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/oceana-led_coalition_letter_opposing_seismic_testing-_163.pdf>, as well as the Billfish Foundation<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/billfish_foundation.pdf>, the International Game Fish Association<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/international_game_fish_association.pdf>, the Southeastern Fisheries Association<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/southeastern_fishery_association.pdf>, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/south_atlantic_fishery_management_council_seismic_opposition_4_15.pdf>, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/mid_atlantic_fishery_management_council.pdf> and the Fisheries Survival Fund<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/662/fsf_to_mafmc_planning_cte.pdf>, have all publicly opposed offshore oil exploration or development. This month, the Gullah/Geechee nation<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/662/gullah-geechee_nation.pdf> passed a resolution opposing these activities. The state capitals of Columbia, and the major ports of Charleston and Georgetown, have also passed resolutions.

 
Meanwhile, seismic airgun blasting<http://www.oceana.org/Seismic>, a process used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor, continues to move forward in an area twice the size of California, stretching all the way from Delaware to Florida. In March, 75 leading marine scientists sent a letter<http://usa.oceana.org/sites/default/files/statement_atlantic_seismic_5mar15_2.pdf> to President Obama on the impacts of seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean, stating that “the magnitude of the proposed seismic activity is likely to have significant, long-lasting, and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival of fish and marine mammal populations in the region, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which approximately only 500 remain.”

 

“The BP oil disaster is a clear example of the damage that offshore drilling can do to coastal communities and local economies,” said Siegel. “Even without a catastrophic oil spill, offshore drilling leads to routine leaks, a coast scattered with oil and gas rigs and the industrialization of coastal communities. South Carolina’s coast is just as important to protect as those on the West Coast and in New England, where offshore drilling isn’t being considered because of opposition. Briarcliffe Acres is sending a strong message to Governor Haley and President Obama – we don’t want offshore drilling here.”
Oceana’s own analysis<http://usa.oceana.org/reports/offshore-energy-numbers> finds that offshore wind would produce twice the number of jobs and twice the amount of energy as offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, without the risk of a catastrophic spill. For South Carolina specifically, offshore wind would produce three times more jobs and nearly nine times more energy than offshore drilling in twenty years.
For more information about Oceana’s efforts to #StopTheDrill off the East Coast, please visit www.StopTheDrill.org<http://www.StopTheDrill.org/>.
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Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 600,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America, Asia, and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org<https://webmail.crowell.com/exchange/PAllgeier/Inbox/Draft%20%20Text%20for%20PR%20Tomorro.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_2_WTO%20Report%20PR%20Draft%204.20.11.doc/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/www.oceana.org>.