Hundreds state-wide urge Trump Administration to leave SC out of off-shore drilling plan
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)--To drill or not to drill? That was the hot button question at the State House Tuesday. Everyone from people who live along the coast to the governor are saying "no" to the president's plan to look for oil off South Carolina's coast.
They're rallying against off-shore drilling. It's part of an oil and gas leasing program which could take effect in 2019 if it's approved by Congress. It's an issue lawmakers across party lines oppose, including South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
"From the mountains to the beaches, we depend on tourism. There's no place along our coastline to put the kind of infrastructure necessary for that kind of work," says McMaster.
Peg Howell used to be a drill engineer on an oil rig. She says Tuesday's outcry is a key moment for the future of South Carolina's coast. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was also in Columbia Tuesday hosting a public forum on the drilling issue. A letter signed by lawmakers and members of the general public is urging the Trump Administration to leave South Carolina out of the oil drilling plan.
"We received many signatures from the representatives and senators, which was encouraging that we have opposition in the general assembly. Many people's vacations, memories growing up are on the South Carolina coast and nobody wants to have that ruined," said Howell.
It's a conversation these groups say won't stop here. It's not clear when a decision will be made on the drilling issue.