Facebook Live Interview with WPDE ABC15’s Trey Paul & SC Congressman Tom Rice, April 10, 2017
Trey Paul: With 100% of South Carolina coastal cities and towns opposed to drilling and your previous stance against drilling in the Atlantic. What steps will you be taking as our congressman to protect our natural resources, economy, and local jobs from offshore drilling?
Congressman Tom Rice: Well I think the issue is off the table at this point for several reasons. One the Obama administration closed the Atlantic, there’s no move on the Trump Administration of which I’m aware to try to open it. If there is, I will oppose it.
You know when I initially ran for office, it’s amazing how quickly things change. But when I ran for office five years ago, oil was at $100 a barrel and people were thinking that our supply would continue to shrink and it would continue to get more expensive and we needed to look for all sources.
But in that last 5 years, we’ve had this fracking boom. You know that we were operating 5 years ago under what they called the peak oil theory. It was a settled science at the time-that we had discovered all of our recoverable oil and that it would get more and more expensive.
But as its turned out with the new-technology we have now hundreds of years of supply here in our own country. I keep hearing that were going to become energy independent, but that hasn’t happened yet primarily because the cost of doing a fracking has exceeded the price of oil because other nations around the world have lowered their price.
But now fracking is becoming less and less expensive. United States production is ramping up. We’re moving toward independence.
I was one of six republicans who voted against exporting domestic oil. And the reason I did that was because I don’t want us to be subject to OPEC anymore. We’ve done it for forty years, it was a bad mistake to ever get there and I don’t want to make that mistake again.
I told the folks in the oil producing states that I would be happy to vote with them to export domestic oil if and when we became energy independent.
But I was only one of six Republicans who voted against that. I’m trying to be responsible for not just this generation but generations to come. And I also believe that I, like everybody else, would prefer that we have absolutely clean energy, and alternative energy, wind, and solar and all that’s great.
What I don’t believe is the government needs to do a lot more to subsidize it. I think it’s going to happen anyway with improvements in technology over the coming decades and it continues to be more and more of a factor.
So with all the oil that we’ve got that’s recoverable now on land, I don’t know why we need to go into the ocean. With all of the improvements in alternative energy that continue at a faster and faster pace, I don’t know why we need to go into the ocean.