Our study found that offshore oil and gas development could bring as much as $2.7 billion of direct investment and nearly 46,000 new jobs to the state by 2035. Investments would include the purchasing of capital equipment, engineering services, construction services, and other services from nationwide, state, and local companies. Those companies would then stimulate indirect investments down the supply line, creating jobs and income for South Carolina families.
A recent survey of South Carolinians indicates that 71 percent of our citizens support offshore oil and natural gas development. Our study shows that the ratio of benefits to costs far outweighs possible potential risk, and concludes that South Carolina could be the second biggest beneficiary of the Atlantic-based energy boom.
There is no evidence that seismic instruments have injured animals. That’s because research vessels follow strict safety protocols, sending out less powerful signals before actual seismic tests. These signals serve as a warning to dolphins, whales, and other sea creatures to steer clear as scientists map the size and location of offshore resources.
At 50 to 100 miles offshore, oil rigs would be well beyond sight from the beach (for a 6 foot tall beachgoer, the horizon is about 3 miles away) and wouldn’t affect tourism. The Palmetto State’s scenic beauty would be preserved, with major onshore infrastructure centering around existing development, such as our ports.
Today, America produces more and imports less oil and natural gas than in years past. Still, we are ignoring 87 percent of our own offshore acreage, and with outdated maps in hand, we can’t be sure what’s out there. To shield ourselves from unpredictable world events in Russia, South America, and the Middle East, we must become truly energy independent. To do so, we must maximize the areas of exploration to improve the odds of finding secure resources.
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