A South Carolina panel is expected to ask for offshore drilling for the state. Senator Paul Campbell of Berkeley County is recommending a request for a federal agency to allow South Carolina to be a part of a five-year off-shore drilling plan.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the recommendation by Campbell says drilling has its benefits, including state revenue assistance, and it will not hurt the state’s $16 billion tourism industry or the environment. Campbell says the drilling would be done about 60 miles off the Carolina shore, so oil derricks could not be seen from the beach.
According to the article, in September, federal regulators are expected to put some protections on thousands of square miles of the potential drilling area where valuable deep sea coral is found. The recommendation is expected to be released before September 1, in which Campbell says he hopes it will be followed with a letter from legislative leaders to the mineral agency.
Although Governor Mark Sanford has opposed oil drilling, the governor’s Communications Director, Ben Fox, says Sanford sees the difference between oil drilling and natural gas drilling, so he will look at the recommendations.