Just days before the first public hearing on federal plans to open South Carolina’s coast to oil and natural gas exploration, Gov. Henry McMaster met with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
According to the Post and Courier, McMaster met with Zinke on Friday at the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia.
The meeting took place before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s public comment meeting in Columbia Tuesday.
McMaster has said he called Zinke last month with his concerns, then wrote a letter to the Trump administration seeking an exemption. The governor’s actions came after the Department of the Interior announced it would exempt Florida’s continental shelf from the surveys. Federal officials have since backtracked on that exemption, saying Florida will continue to be part of the review process
McMaster has said that the state’s $20 billion tourist industry cannot be put at risk.