The city’s opposition
comes as the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
(BOEM) is trying to open the mid and south Atlantic coastal areas to exploration and development of offshore drilling as part of the Obama Administration’s drafted program to allow exploration and drilling at least 50 miles offshore starting in 2017.
According to BOEM’s estimates, the potential oil located along the Georgia and South Carolina coast is equivalent to less than two months of domestic oil demand, but the Savannah city council said potential impacts and risks would last much longer.
In opposing BOEM’s present efforts, the Savannah city council cited several concerns about the risks associated with seismic testing, drilling, extraction and transportation, stating activities could largely impact the city’s economy, quality of life, natural coast, historical environment and future economic development in a negative way.
The city council also listed as a concern transparency regarding the costs, benefits and risks of BOEM’s proposal, as well as the uncertainty regarding the full impact of seismic testing and offshore drilling on the Atlantic Ocean.
Savannah joins more than 50 coastal communities in the U.S. to have formally opposed offshore drilling and exploration on the East Coast.