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Honorable Mark Sanford

Representing the 1st District of South Carolina


Apr 27, 2015
Press Release


Contact: Jared Smith

Main: 202-225-3176


CHARLESTON, S.C. – Today, Representative Mark Sanford joined local officials and others in the community to announce his opposition to permits for seismic testing and offshore drilling in the waters off the coast of South Carolina.

“Those that join me today represent and understand the unique look and feel of South Carolina’s Lowcountry,” Sanford said, “Unfortunately; their views would not be represented in the process for testing or permitting for offshore drilling until it is far too late under the current proposal.”

“I’d give real credit to local leaders from all political perspectives like Senator Chip Campsen or Charleston Mayor Joe Riley for being outspoken and clear on this issue.  Also thanks to the communities of Edisto Beach, Hilton Head, Port Royal, the City of Beaufort, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, James Island, James Island Public Service District, Rockville, and the City of Charleston for making evident their views on drilling off our coast.”

Under the seismic testing plan, South Carolina would not have full access to the testing data until after the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) had signed leases with the energy companies.

“In the case of South Carolina, weighing the balance between large blocks of untouched coastal estuarine areas, and in other parts, an established tourism industry, against the potential benefits of drilling is not something that Washington officials are best positioned to do.” Sanford added, “In my view, it makes little sense to even conduct tests when the states and regions affected will have no say in the process of determining – especially when factoring potential impacts on the environment, tourism, along with other risks inherent in the process.”

“So based on the public input I have received, including nine towns in the First Congressional District, and given that there would not be enough transparency for South Carolinians to have an in-depth conversation about a path forward, I have asked the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not to move forward with seismic testing off the coast of South Carolina.”

Note: Rep. Sanford Letter to Mr. Geoffrey Wikel on Offshore Drilling