I am well aware of the need for petroleum to maintain our complex way of life. The issue addressed in this letter is the proposed testing and possible extraction of oil off our coast and Eastern Shores of the Atlantic.
The pros and cons of this issue will fill reams and volumes of documentation. My comments are both ethically and economically motivated. I have a B.S. in Biology and post graduate degrees in religion. My objection to the initial phase, which will include using seismic testing, is that it may do irreversible damage to marine life and subsequently to the environment as well. If oil is found, the infrastructure needed to extract both oil and gas will further damage the fragile coastal ecosystem of this area.
Finally, there seems to be a great deal of misinformation as to who will reap the benefits of potential profits from off shore drilling. It certainly won't be the state of South Carolina. Oil leases and profits will not go the the states, but the oil companies and the federal government. As to potential jobs …after the initial exploration is complete and if enough oil is found to merit extraction, the jobs created locally will be minimal.
There is plenty of research available, and it is well documented, that jobs created in the petroleum industry are specialized and will be available only in small numbers to highly qualified individuals.
Finally, isn't it about time we begin to take seriously the long term impact of fossil fuels on our planet. Isn't it time to get serous about climate change and the need to explore more viable alternative energy sources that will both create the jobs of the future and assure a clean and eco-friendly planet for future generation.
The writer lives in Pawleys Island.