Letter to the Editor

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To the Editor:

Recently, the Trump administration re-opened our coastlines to consideration for offshore drilling. There are many reasons this is bad for South Carolina.

Seismic surveys required to map the location of new wells are noisy and impact the health of fish and sea mammals.

Drilling releases thousands of gallons of water contaminated with toxins such as benzene and arsenic.

The drilling process and on-shore infrastructure - which can require acres of land on the coastline - cause significant air pollution. Oil spills remain one of the biggest concerns with potentially massive impacts on our economy and wildlife.

South Carolina's ocean economy is significant, with 2007 data showing $16 billion generated along with 208,083 jobs. Our state has grown since then, so we know those numbers are much larger now.

We must make our voices heard. There is a public comment period that runs until March 9. Go to boem.gov/ National-Program-Comment for instructions in how to submit meaningful comments.

There will be a public meeting in Columbia at the Doubletree Hotel at 2100 Bush River Rd. on Feb. 13 from 3 to 7 p.m., where you can drop in, express your opinions to officials, and have questions answered.

Contact your legislators, both statewide and federal. Let them know you oppose drilling that will endanger our South Carolina treasure. Let them know you support the renewable energy sources of the future, and oppose the fossil fuels of the past.

If we don't speak up, who will?

Paula Smith

Bluffton

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