There has been a great deal of erroneous information given to the South Carolina public regarding what oil drilling off our coastline would mean.
What it would mean is:
1) More jobs surrounding the oil industry in South Carolina (though the jobs may be specialized and filled by non-S.C. residents).
2) An undetermined amount of royalty revenue awarded to South Carolina.
What it would not mean:
1) It wouldn't create more oil independence. If oil is drilled off the S.C. coast, it is the property of BP, Exxon, etc. It is NOT the property of the United States oil consumer. The oil companies would dump the oil into the large pot of oil for global sale.
2) If there were an oil shortage worldwide, we would not be more secure in South Carolina. Again, the oil would go to worldwide distribution and the price we would pay would be no cheaper than the price per barrel anywhere else in the world. Example: During the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, Oklahoma and Texas residents paid just as much for their oil as anyone and it was just as scarce for them - despite being drilled in their backyard. Most experts agree that the effect of offshore oil on the price of gas to the consumer would be negligible.
3) Contrary to public opinion, the Arab states are not currently our biggest supplier of oil. Canada is by far the largest - with Mexico coming in second. (Google "largest U.S. oil suppliers" and click on thewww.eia.doe.gov link). Last I heard, we have not labeled Canada as a terrorist state.
4) Once we allow the oil companies to drill off the S.C. coast and invest enormous sums of money to drill oil, you can bet we will have a permanent neighbor with the oil companies. We will not be able to say we no longer want you here - despite spills, problems, etc.
Looking back, during President Obama's campaign, his stand was against offshore drilling on the East Coast. I wonder what caused the dramatic reversal in his position on this? Certainly not the price per barrel of oil or the world wide availability.
Lastly, if the United States truly wants to be energy independent, we must alleviate our dependence on the oil companies. The best way to do this is by eliminating internal combustion cars. Within months we will have cars that can run up to 100 miles on battery alone. They are charged overnight by your everyday household plug. Just think - if the Obama administration would have spent the hundreds of billion of dollars on subsidizing these cars for all Americans - instead of whatever he did with the money - what it would have done for our economy and true energy independence.
The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.