WASHINGTON, DC (WMBF) – A Pawleys Island woman is standing up to speak for those against drilling for oil in the Atlantic.
Peg Howell testified in Washington Wednesday during the Oversight Hearing on "Evaluating Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Development on the Outer Continental Shelf."
U.S. Representative Nikki Tsongas of Massachusetts asked Howell why she believes opening the Atlantic to drilling isn't a good idea.
"For several reasons, oil and gas are inconsistent with the east coast economy," Howell responded. "To begin with, the nature of the work required to drill offshore requires, it's a dirty industry, it requires several different ways in which oil and gas are a threat to the coast, not only to the drilling process but also through transportation, bringing oil and gas to the onshore facilities where it's refined or liquified as liquified natural gas. There's a variety of ways oil and gas can enter the coastal stream, and that doesn't have to require a blowout."
At one point in her career, Howell worked on an oil rig, but now she runs the organization SODA - Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic.
Howell was listed as the only minority witness in the hearing.
University of South Carolina professor Doctor James Knapp was one of four majority witnesses.
"I'm encouraged that the new administration appears poised to reinstate an opportunity for the market forces to determine whether offshore Atlantic OCS is warranted," Knapp said during the hearing. "Those decisions can only be made in the way of new state-of-the-art seismic surveys such that the federal government may fairly execute as is the statutory obligation to adequately evaluate the resource potential."
Every coastal community in the state of South Carolina to vote on the matter has come out in opposition of offshore drilling.
Last month, Governor Henry McMaster sided with the communities, according to Bluffton Today. Former Governor Nikki Haley supported drilling as a way to boost the state's economy.
Watch full video from Wednesday's hearing below: