Letters to the Editor

Letter | Don’t be fooled by rosy predictions about drilling off S.C. coast

Offshore drilling
Offshore drilling

I wonder where they would build the infrastructure for offshore oil drilling in South Carolina.

Out there in North Inlet? I doubt that. Over in the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Refuge?

Maybe the Santee Coastal Reserve or the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge?

The fact is that there is nowhere to put the infrastructure in South Carolina without threatening those areas, and more. The cities and towns below Georgetown have already taken a stance against such activity: John’s Island, Folly Beach, Isle Of Palms, Charleston, Port Royale, Beaufort, Edisto Beach and Hilton Head Island.

North of Georgetown, the entire coast is built up with tourism related development. The only place that is even slightly amenable to the idea of this massive and filthy infrastructure is Georgetown. They could build it on Goat Island and ruin the view for all the Riverwalk restaurants - or they could go up river a bit and build it on the Sampit between the other filth belching industries already present.

If a plan like that were announced, there would be lawsuits from here to kingdom come because of the tidal proximity to the wildlife refuges downstream and the historic plantations. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified the exploitable energy resources off South Carolina as the absolute lowest of all the areas available to lease in their five year plan. The same document rates the South Carolina coast the most likely to be affected by an oil catastrophe at sea from drilling occurring in the Southeast Atlantic.

The seismic surveys conducted in the 1980s identify areas with the most potential for exploitable ocean energy resources to be off Manteo North Carolina, a short distance from the port of Morehead City. So it is doubtful that they would want to come all the way to Georgetown with their extractions.

These new seismic surveys have been requested because there is a newer,more accurate type of technology available. But strangely, of the 9companies that have applied for seismic permits, only one has applied to use this new technology. All the others will be using the same technology that was used the last time our ocean was mapped 30 years ago.

BOEM predicts that seismic testing will cause “little to moderate effects on wildlife.” This strange remark was made on the heels of a 2014 government Environmental Impact Statement which predicted more than 13 million disturbances of wildlife and more than 100,000 incidents of effects, ranging from disorientation and disruption of breeding and migration to deafening and death in ocean mammals, which include loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles, all of which are threatened or endangered. Bottlenose dolphins and Right whales (of which only 450 remain on earth) would also be within those parameters of effects.

It is regrettable that such consequences are considered “little to moderate effect” by the proponents for seismic testing and offshore oil. They all use the same, and only, document as a source for the benefits of these practices, jobs, revenue, tax base, etc. This document is the Quest Report, funded by and produced for the American Petroleum Institute. It is rife with exaggerations, inaccuracies and outright lies to benefit the exploits of their clients.

Job figures are at least 95 percent inaccurate. Virtually everything the report says is bogus. There will soon be a bullet point fact sheet available which exposes this fallacious document.

We are being sold a bill of goods in a document bought and paid for by the oil industry.

These people are trying to buy our beautiful coast.

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.