Sanford Urges Administration to Reconsider Offshore Drilling Plan
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Representative Mark Sanford along with 15 House Republicans sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, urging him to reconsider the addition of the North Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Eastern Gulf Of Mexico in the administration’s recent proposal for offshore and gas leasing. He released the following statement:
“If local opinion and the principle of federalism matters - and I believe it does, then the overwhelming chorus of East Coast voices opposing offshore drilling should matter. In response to the single largest expansion of offshore drilling activity ever proposed, over 170 coastal municipalities along with citizens up and down the East Coast have spoken out against drilling off their coast.
“Along with the other states along the Eastern Seaboard, South Carolina’s coast is unique and heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver. These factors in conjunction with local input have been listed as the criteria for a state’s exemption. With all criteria clearly and consistently met, removing all states along the Atlantic from this plan should be a no-brainer.”
On January 4, 2018, the Department of Interior announced a proposal to open nearly 90% of U.S. federal waters to offshore drilling activities, including off South Carolina’s coast. The draft plan includes 47 potential lease sales - the largest number ever proposed. The public has until tomorrow, March 9, 2018, to comment on the draft proposed program, which is the first of two opportunities for public comment on the plan.
Full text of the letter is below.