Lowcountry lawmaker prefiles bill in state senate to permanently ban offshore drilling

Lowcountry lawmaker prefiles bill in state senate to permanently ban offshore drilling

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry lawmaker pre-filed a bill Tuesday morning which would prohibit state permits for infrastructure related to offshore drilling.

Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston, Beaufort & Colleton Counties) has been joined by 28 of 46 state senators who are co-sponsoring his bill.

Earlier in 2019, the South Carolina state senate passed a proviso preventing the Department of Health and Environmental Control or local government entities to use any funds to approve licenses or permits associated with offshore drilling for oil or gas or for seismic testing. It carried the weight of state law for one year, but the new bill, if passed, would make the drilling ban permanent.

“Offshore drilling would inevitably result in massive industrialization of our coastline,” Campsen said. "It would damage our coast’s rich natural, historic, cultural and economic resources. I am pleased twenty-eight Senate colleagues joined me in a bipartisan effort to protect South Carolina’s coast from offshore drilling.“

The bill will be considered in the 2020 legislative year.

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