AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR SENATORS: It is time to stop oil exploration off our coast.
Today, I sent the following letter to Senators Graham and Scott. I urge you to do the same as it is clear that the Administration is moving forward with oil exploration in the Atlantic.
I am writing you today to urge that the Senate take up the House of Representatives’ bipartisan bill to ban off-shore drilling along the Atlantic Coast. This issue is of the utmost urgency as it is clear the Administration plans to move forward with this foolish, reckless and unnecessary endeavor.
We have recently learned that NOAA has opened up the application process to allow companies to begin seismic blast testing, the first step in oil and natural gas exploration. The seismic testing process consists of ships blasting a loud sound (louder than a jet engine) every 10 seconds across hundreds of miles of ocean. The testing is detrimental to marine life, especially marine mammals. The Interior Department estimates that 130,000 marine mammals could be killed by seismic testing in the South and Mid-Atlantic region.
Beyond the inherent beauty, the coastal areas of South Carolina are the economic engine of our state. Approximately $10 billion of the $24 billion in annual economic impact from tourism is from the Charleston area. When you factor in other beach communities such as Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head Island, that figure surely grows. Additionally, we are blessed with some of the greatest fisheries in the country. To put all of this at risk to search for and extract oil that the market does not need is to take on unnecessary risk that jeopardizes our way of life.
It is time for you to join your constituents of all political stripes (and those in other affected states) to put an end to this folly. Demand that this bill is taken up and considered by the Senate.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29466