SC Eyes Offshore Exploration

Monday, May 15, 2006
With offshore oil and gas exploration becoming a hot topic in South Carolina, the House is poised to debate a bill on May 16 that authorizes a study of gas exploration off the state's coast. The bill calls for a committee to study the feasibility of natural gas exploration off the state's coast and to report by Jan. 13. A bill allowing gas exploration, currently banned off the East coast, passed a U.S. House subcommittee last week. Critics who oppose oil and gas exploration off the coast argue that alternative energy and conservation means should be exhausted first. The bill cites proposals in Congress to offer incentives to states to allow gas exploration, saying the fuel is clean and in high demand. It also says the coastal counties could use the new income that might be created for tourism management activities such as beach renourishment. The study would have to take into account the effect on tourism, the environment, fisheries, agriculture and other factors. Although the deadline has passed for consideration of House bills by the Senate, the measure is presented as a joint (Source: Myrtle Beach Sun News)

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