Locals discuss prospect of offshore drilling - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Locals discuss prospect of offshore drilling

Source: WMBF News Source: WMBF News

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would roll back restrictions on offshore oil and natural gas drilling.

President Trump believes that this new order will generate thousands of well-paying energy jobs.

“We don’t need it. The east coast doesn’t need it,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has been an advocate for offshore drilling, and is in favor of this new order.

“I know that Sen. Graham has been very good to the Grand Strand and we have supported him very strong, but this is something that I have to not agree with Sen. Graham on,” Rhodes said.

The new order reverses President Obama’s restrictions on offshore drilling in parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and off the Alaskan coast.

The order could eventually open millions of coastal acres to drilling. Many officials here in Horry County thinks it is unnecessary and believe it would be hard to recover if there was an oil spill off of the coast here in Myrtle Beach.

“It would be like us having a major hurricane every year, how long it takes to rebuild back," Rhodes said. "This would be even more devastating than that.” 

It could still take years for any real movement or a start to offshore drilling. Officials must first review federal leases and energy potential.

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