On Wednesday, Congressman Jeff Duncan successfully introduced an amendment in the House Natural Resources Committee to include South Carolina in the Department of the Interior's five-year plan for offshore drilling.
Back in June, Duncan joined US Senator Lindsey Graham and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at a press conference calling for federal legislation to open up the SC coast for domestic production. At the event, leaders cited a new study showing that oil and natural gas production off the coast of South Carolina has the potential to create over 7,500 new jobs, have a statewide economic impact of over $2.2 billion annually, and generate around $87.5 million in new state revenue.
On June 28th, the Obama Administration submitted a new five-year plan to Congress that made 85 percent of America's offshore areas off-limits for energy production, including the state of South Carolina. Duncan's amendment helps reverse the Administration's policy, and puts South Carolina on the path towards creating jobs and enforcing the state's status as an energy leader.
"Safely developing our natural resources creates jobs and helps make our country energy independent," said Duncan. "South Carolina is already a national leader in nuclear power. Developing our resources along the coast can help make South Carolina a model for an all-the-above approach to energy."
Duncan acknowledged that this process would take some time, but was optimistic that things were moving in the right direction. "I'm not going to let Washington stand in the way of creating jobs in South Carolina. South Carolinians want these jobs, and the economic benefits that come with them. We can develop our resources safely and in a way that benefits the entire state. South Carolina has been very vocal on this issue, and we've let both Congress and the President know that we're not backing down on this anytime soon."