Taking the fight against Atlantic offshore drilling to Washington

Chris Carnevale | January 29, 2016 | Energy Policy, Offshore Drilling
Our delegation from South Carolina in front of the Capitol Building, walking from the House offices to the Senate offices.

Greetings from the nation’s capital! I am in Washington, D.C. on a trip to talk with Congressmen and Senators from South Carolina about the need to protect the Southeast coast from the impacts of offshore drilling.

I am honored to be one of the delegates from the Southeast to the Coastal Voices Summit, hosted by Oceana. Alongside fellow South Carolinians and partner groups, I met Wednesday with Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, and Congressmen Mark Sanford, Jim Clyburn, and Tom Rice.

We informed our elected officials why President Obama’s plans to open the mid- and south-Atlantic to offshore drilling are misguided, contrary to the will of the voters, and asked for their support in halting the push to drill.

Peg Howell, former offshore rig worker, explaining how the offshore oil & gas industry jeopardizes the Atlantic coast in a meeting with Senator Lindsey Graham's office.

Insofar as members of Congress should represent their constituents’ interests, it has quickly become an untenable position to continue to advocate for the risky proposition of Atlantic offshore drilling. More than 100 local governments along the east coast—rural and urban, conservative and liberal alike—have passed resolutions opposing offshore drilling and/or seismic exploration. Just last month, 430 businesses in South Carolina went on the record to urge that the Atlantic be removed from consideration for offshore drilling, declaring that the current booming coastal economy is incompatible with offshore oil and gas development. The citizens, businesses, and local governments are sending a clear message to Washington: “No Atlantic offshore drilling!”

Some legislators, like SC Congressman Mark Sanford have responded to their constituents and are representing the will of the people they serve by acting to block Atlantic offshore drilling.

Others are prioritizing playing national politics over the best interests of their constituents. We sincerely hope they respond to the voice of their communities. If not, may their compromising positions shine brightly on Election Day.

Chris Carnevale
Chris is SACE’s Climate Advocacy Director. Chris joined the SACE staff in 2011 to help with building public understanding and engagement around clean energy solutions to the climate crisis. Chris…
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