Date: February 2, 2018
From: Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC)
Subject: Southern Republican opposition to offshore drilling in the Atlantic grows
Contact: Frank Knapp, President/CEO, 803-497-3204 (w), 803-600-6874 (c),
Columbia, SC—Southern Republican opposition to the federal government permitting drilling and testing for oil off the Atlantic Coast continues to grow. Both GOP governors of South Carolina and Florida are leading their states’ efforts to remove their coastal waters from a new five-year plan for oil and gas leases in the Atlantic. Governor Scott, with the support of the entire Florida Congressional delegation, scored an early victory by securing the Secretary of the Department of Interior’s commitment to not consider any area off the Florida Coast for drilling.
South Carolina’s Republican U.S. Senator, Lindsey Graham, has publicly made it clear that he believes that states should be able to opt out of any offshore drilling plans. Consistent with that position the Senator said that he is following the lead of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on this issue. Also in South Carolina, state Representative Nancy Mace, who was a field director in seven states for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, this week introduced a bi-partisan House Resolution opposing drilling for oil off her state’s coast.
“We appreciate Georgia Governor Nathan Deal expressing his concerns about drilling for oil off his state’s coast,” said Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast which has the support of over 42,000 businesses in its opposition to offshore drilling and testing for oil.
“We ask Governor Deal to now join his Republican Governor neighbors in recognizing that offshore drilling would be a serious threat to our Southeastern coastal economies. The federal government acknowledges that oil spills and leaks are inevitable with drilling. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management reports that in the Gulf of Mexico in 2016 there were 497 oil “accidents”. Clearly when you drill, you spill and the Georgia Coast and local economies will suffer,” continued Mr. Knapp.
“The states’ rights position held by Senator Graham should resonate with the elected officials and public in Georgia,” said Mr. Knapp. “Should the Department of Interior recognize that states should be able to opt out of any federal drilling plans, Governor Deal’s leadership will be essential to protect Georgia from oil pollution of its coastal economies and essential estuaries, home to over 70 percent of the state’s commercial and recreational fish and crustaceans.”