By Reagan Kelley for Island Connection
Senator Chip Campsen (R-Beaufort, Charleston, and Colleton Counties) today in a press conference announced the introduction of a budget proviso preventing the industrialization of South Carolina’s coast by prohibiting the permitting of onshore infrastructure related to offshore drilling.
The budget proviso introduced today would carry the full weight of state law for the upcoming fiscal year if passed and may be renewed from year to year. It provides that no funds appropriated or authorized to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, or to local governments, may be expended to approve a plan, permit, license, application, or other authorization for activities principally associated with facilitating offshore drilling for oil or gas, or for seismic testing.
Senator Campsen, a maritime industry executive, provided, “I’ve spent time in the Gulf of Mexico. I know first-hand that offshore drilling would require massive industrialization of our coastline. I’ve also spent a lifetime exploring – and a legislative career protecting – South Carolina’s magnificent coast. I know most of it like the back of my hand. There is no place where the onshore infrastructure needed to support offshore drilling is appropriate.”
Senator Campsen continued, “South Carolina is blessed with the most beautiful and historic coast in North America. Why would we subject our $23 billion tourism industry, lucrative coastal real estate markets, invaluable historic sites, world-class resorts, abundant fisheries, and extensive protected ecosystems to the industrialization and inevitable oil spills associated with offshore drilling? It makes no sense.”
Elected to the South Carolina Senate in 2004, Senator Chip Campsen represents approximately one-half of South Carolina’s coast. His district includes coastal areas in Charleston, Colleton, and Beaufort Counties. In addition to serving as the chairman of the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee, he serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources, Judiciary, Legislative Oversight, Rules, and Transportation Committees.
Senator Campsen has been a leading opponent of drilling in the Atlantic since it was proposed in 2015.