SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A banner plane flying high over Surfside Beach Monday displayed a special message to President Obama. Labor Day beachgoers saw "PRES OBAMA KEEP OIL OFF THIS BEACH #DONTDRILLSC" in the sky over the ocean.
The message hit the sky as Surfside Beach Town Council is set to discuss offshore drilling at its meeting Tuesday, September 8 at 6:30 p.m.
A group opposed to offshore drilling called Don't Drill SC asks South Carolina voters to sign a petition to Governor Nikki Haley "to let the Governor know that South Carolinians don't want offshore drilling". It is unclear who funded the banner plane, or whether there are any ties to the group.
Seismic testing and offshore drilling are part of an Obama Administration proposal. Governor Nikki Haley said if the federal government will lease to gas and oil companies, it will mean more jobs and investments for the state. Opponents of offshore drilling worry that spills could damage fisheries and the important coastal tourism industry. Supporters say drilling can be done safely and will mean jobs and new revenues.
Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach joined many other South Carolina communities in publicly opposing seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling off the coast, according to a news release from Oceana, an international organization focused on protecting the world's oceans. The City of Charleston, along with other Palmetto State communities like James Island, Folly Beach and the Isle of Palms have all come out against the drilling. Wilmington, North Carolina also said 'no' to offshore drilling in July.