Editor’s note: Tom Rice, who represents the 7th District in Congress, was in Florence Tuesday and said this: “Let’s do the seismic testing so we know what’s there. Until we know what’s there we can’t make any rational decisions about it.”
Myrtle Beach City Council voted against offshore drilling on Tuesday.
The subjects of seismic testing and offshore drilling are the most profound issues ever to rock our little local world in the almost 50 years I have called this area home. I have had my say – and many others have chimed in. I have had my say again and backed off to consider other views – and now I am at a point of disbelief.
After two years of reading, listening and digesting, I am in total disbelief that this issue is still alive, and that the Republican representatives I helped elect are all in on these ridiculous ideas.
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As we all listen to the same discredited data from the Quest Report (a document funded by the American Petroleum Institute) over and
over again – voiced by politicians who have received massive donations and PAC money from Big Oil – we grow tired of the message.
Then we see some of our neighbors and fellow veterans buy into the same horse hockey to the point that they mimic the same bad information through sham alliances and councils.
Seismic testing is not harmless. In fact, it is not allowed in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Continental U.S. – because the folks out there believe the science and have had enough devastation at the hands of Big Oil to the point where offshore drilling has been
banned for decades.
But, as we saw in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, they are still suffering the consequences of allowing it to occur at all.
The government’s own Environmental Impact Statement has predicted that there would be hundreds of thousands of disruptions of life cycles, deafening, disorientation and death of marine mammals as a result of seismic testing in the Southeast Atlantic. The same EIS predicted many millions more of disruptions in migration patterns and reproductive activity amongst fish and other ocean creatures.
The proposal that seismic testing be done in the Atlantic was so outrageous that 65 of the world’s leading ocean scientists wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to disallow these tests. For most intelligent life, this would have been enough of a kicker to kill these proposals.
The Far Out Right of a different Republican Party than I grew up with pushed forward with this agenda. After masquerading these plans under the guise of “American energy independence” for years, they introduced legislation to lift the ban on the export of crude oil so their oil company donors could make big bucks with our oil on the world market!
While the Murkowski legislation is a long way from being signed into law, its speedy approval on Capitol Hill signals the intention of the folks we elected to office to represent us to sell our beautiful coast to the oil companies – and, most likely, sweeten the coffers for re-election campaigns and PAC funds of the politicians who supported their efforts.
If the Murkowski legislation does become law, it usurps the five-year-plan model where no rigs are closer to the shore than 50 miles; the BP Horizon rig was about 45 miles out. With Murkowski on the books, there could be rigs within sight of land.
There will be no 35,000 jobs for our area created by these plans. The Quest Report’s prediction of these numbers is merely purchased information by the industry. Such job numbers have never occurred anywhere that Big Oil has gone. In fact, the industry has laid off over 60,000 workers in recent months as the market has become glutted with oil.
The Quest Report basically tells us we will be going to Heaven if we get in bed with Big Oil.
Yesterday in Myrtle Beach, another nail in the coffin of these preposterous proposals was struck. Myrtle Beach City Council finally joined 71 other coastal communities by resolving against seismic testing and offshore drilling.
That makes 72 resolutions against – and not one community resolving in approval.
It is time for our politicians to hear this loud cacophony. It is time for them to represent the best interests of the folks who elected them, not the best interests of the oil companies.
I wonder if these proposals would ever have surfaced if it weren’t for the mountains of money spent by the oil industry to donate and lobby. How they have stuck around this long in the face of common sense and the people’s will is appalling.
Our elected officials need to spend a lot more time working and researching for any number of clean industries that could compliment what we have instead of industries that threaten those blessings.
The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.