Press Release
April 24, 2019

Contact: Frank Knapp,, 803-252-5733, 803-600-6874 cell

Columbia, SC—Democratic Presidential candidates are being called on to promise an immediate, first-day moratorium on new offshore oil drilling leases.

In an opinion editorial in today’s Charleston Post and Courier the chief executive officer of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Frank Knapp Jr., advocates for this to be a new litmus test for Democratic candidates. His organization has been a leader in the East Coast business community in opposition to offshore oil exploration and drilling in the Atlantic.

In his opinion editorial Mr. Knapp points to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s recently rolled out first-day action plan to block new offshore oil drilling leases. He writes,

Presidential candidates will need to pass this offshore-drilling litmus test if they hope to be victorious in coastal states.

Mr. Knapp says that the first-day moratorium on new offshore drilling leases achieves another valuable purpose. He writes,

However, a plan for an immediate moratorium on offshore oil drilling leases is not just a litmus test for candidates. It is also a clear signal to the petroleum industry that it should abandon its expansion plans.

“The voters will be looking for a specific, unilateral and immediate first-day action plan for blocking new offshore oil drilling leases,” said Mr. Knapp. “Anything less undercuts the candidate’s commitment to protecting our oceans, marine life and local economies. It also sends a clear message to Big Oil not to waste money, effort and time on what they will never achieve if Donald Trump is not re-elected.”


The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is a statewide advocacy organization founded in 2000. With over 10,000 small business and entrepreneur supporters, it has successfully worked to make South Carolina more small business friendly in areas such as healthcare, taxation, regulation, worker training, energy/conservation, workers’ compensation and economic development.

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