Opposition to seismic testing permits revs up its legal engines. SC to be the “legal dagger” in the heart of oil exploration in the Atlantic

Opposition to seismic testing permits revs up its legal engines. SC to be the “legal dagger” in the heart of oil exploration in the Atlantic


Date:       April 5, 2018
From:     South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Subject:   Opposition to seismic testing permits revs up its legal engines
Contact:  See below

Columbia, SC—If there is to be exploration for oil in the Atlantic using the highly destructive seismic airgun blasting process, it will have to get past objections from South Carolina and possible legal action according to Frank Knapp Jr. who co-founded and led the growth and influence of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC). BAPAC has the support of over 42,000 businesses from Maine to Florida in opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing for oil in the Atlantic.

Knapp recently stepped down as president and CEO of BAPAC to focus the attention of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) and numerous coastal municipalities in a potential lawsuit to stop seismic testing in the Atlantic if federal permits are approved.

“The BAPAC Board is sad to lose Mr. Knapp’s leadership but we are thrilled that he is turning his attention to the most immediate threat to Atlantic Coast economies—seismic airgun blasting,” said Vicki Clark, BAPAC chair and CEO of the Cape May Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey.

“I believe the professionals at the federal agencies want to do the right thing and protect Atlantic Coast marine life and local economies from unnecessary and destructive seismic testing,” said Knapp. “However, it they succumb to the political directives of this Administration, they will face the legal dagger of a lawsuit from my chamber and our state’s coastal communities.” Knapp is the president and CEO of the SCSBCC.  The SC Environmental Law Project is representing the potential plaintiffs.

“The science on this is unequivocal: seismic testing represents a clear and present danger to South Carolina, to marine wildlife, and to the businesses that rely on a healthy, vibrant ocean habitat, particularly our recreational and commercial fishing industries,” said Charleston, SC Mayor John J. Tecklenburg. “That’s a risk our citizens and businesses can’t afford, and a threat they should never have to face.”

“It’s time for the career scientists at the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to make the right decision on seismic testing,” said Mayor Billy Keyserling of Beaufort, SC. “They know the evidence of the damage caused by this old exploration technology.  We have up to 16 South Carolina municipalities ready to join the South Carolina Small Business Chamber to go to court to stop seismic testing if political currents outweigh research and data.”

“The health of our commercial and recreational fishing industries is at risk when sonic airguns blast the ocean floor every 10-12 seconds for months on end,” said Knapp. “We should not destroy the good things we know are out there in the Atlantic to find out what we don’t know is out there.  We will not allow our existing businesses suffer financially so that foreign-owned seismic companies can make money.”



Frank Knapp, President/CEO, 803-252-5733 (w), 803-600-6874 (c), fknapp@scsbc.org
Billy Keyserling, Mayor, Beaufort, SC, 843-525-7070 (w), billyk@islc.net
Jack O’Toole, Director of Communications, City of Charleston, 843-518-3228,
Amy Armstrong, Executive Director, SC Environmental Law Project, 843-527-0078 (w),