Re: July 11 letter by William Schachte Jr. and William Crowther, “A prosperous future for South Carolina lies offshore”
When offshore oil is cast as a panacea for the prosperity of South Carolina, it is time for citizens to take notice of the gross misrepresentations of economic boon to the state and the certainty that the risks of oil exploration and development will outweigh the negligible benefits.
Currently the United States is the largest producer of natural gas. Projections are that the United States will be the largest producer of oil in the world by 2020. We don’t need the Atlantic reserves. To claim otherwise would line the pockets of big oil at the expense of projected environmental and health damage to marine life and communities and economic losses from jobs in the fishing industry and other marine industry revenues. Property values would decline. The booming tourism business would suffer.
Can the oil companies guarantee that there will be no accidental oil spills? Are there really benefits from offshore oil development? Do they outweigh the risk?
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We must first stop testing for oil along our coast — scheduled to begin next year. The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved seismic airgun blasting, which is reported to have significant impacts on marine life. BOEM approves permits for testing by oil companies beyond the 3 mile limit. The state of South Carolina approves permits within the 3-mile limit.
What assessments were done? Is there an Environmental Impact Assessment? What were the findings? Who was the team made up of? What facts are being used to issue approvals?
I am a concerned citizen. I am a retiree of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, having been an environmental specialist for many years. I have lived on this beautiful coast for 12 years , and I have never been more concerned about our environment than I am now.
The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.