SC Attorney General & SC Small Business Chamber press conference on successful Federal lawsuit to stop offshore oil exploration

Columbia, SC, October 6, 2020—Today S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson and the President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce held a press conference regarding the Federal Court ruling this morning on seismic testing permits.  Those permits, issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, were the next to the final step before permits could be issued for exploration for oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic.

Judge Richard Gergel dismissed the lawsuit saying that the case was now moot because the permits would run out November 30th, could not be extended, and seismic testing companies said that they could not get their boats in the water before that date even if they had the final permits from the Trump Administration.

“With this final disposition of the case and the clock running out on the permits, South Carolina and the entire Atlantic Coast are protected at least for several years from seismic airgun blasting of the ocean floor in the search for oil and gas deposits,” said Mr. Knapp.  “Our marine animals as well as our commercial and recreational fishing industries are safe for now.”

In a separately released statement, Mr. Knapp said, “We have won this battle to protect the Atlantic but not the war.  I believe that if Mr. Trump is re-elected he will rescind this Executive Order on a drilling moratorium, new seismic permit applications will be submitted immediately, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will put the Atlantic in the next 5 year leasing plan that starts in 2022.  Only a new Congress passing a bill and a new President signing it to ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic will win the war.”

The video of the press conference can be seen here.

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