Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine, chair of the Environment Committee, Columbia City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing seismic testing and oil and gas extraction off South Carolina’s shores. Columbia joins Charleston, Hilton Head, Georgetown, Savannah and other coastal city and town councils in opposing the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s proposal to open areas of the South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia to private companies for exploration and extraction.
The bureau is reviewing public comments and has indicated it will consider the views of municipalities in the affected states. I urge other S.C. cities and towns and the other states to join the growing opposition to this proposal.
Both seismic testing and oil and gas extraction pose serious threats to our precious coastal waters and marine life and carry substantial risks to our thriving tourism and fishing industries. Offshore testing and drilling are a bad deal for South Carolina. The spectacle of yet another spill spreading off California’s coast should remove any doubt that this is a bad idea.