South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan recently introduced the South Carolina Offshore Drilling Act. The legislation would add South Carolina to the nation's 5-year plan for offshore exploration and production, a crucial step in safely developing the state's natural resources.
Last July, Congressman Duncan successfully introduced this legislation as an amendment in the House Natural Resources Committee, which eventually passed the House, but was never taken up by the Senate.
"Safely developing our natural resources not only creates jobs, but is also a step towards reaching the goal of North American energy independence," 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."
Last week, the governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia sent a letter to Interior Secretary-Designate Sally Jewell encouraging her to abandon federal opposition to drilling off the Atlantic Coast, where production has been blocked for decades.
"We've made it crystal clear that South Carolina is committed to job creation," said Governor Nikki Haley. "Congressman Duncan's legislation gives South Carolina the freedom to safely develop its natural resources, and as a result potentially bring thousands of new jobs to the state. This is the type of teamwork that continues to make South Carolina an attractive home for business."
A 2009 study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute estimated there could be as much as 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas off the South Carolina coast. A separate study calculated that oil and natural gas production could create over 7,500 new jobs in South Carolina, have a statewide economic impact of over $2.2 billion annually, and generate around $87.5 million in new state revenue.
"I will continue to advocate for South Carolinians who want these jobs, and the economic benefits that come with them," said Duncan. "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."