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API Announces New “Explore Offshore” Coalition In South Carolina Supporting Expanded Access To the Atlantic’s Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources; Part of Larger Effort Backing Increased Offshore Access


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API, Power Past Impossible, Explore Offshore logos

Stephen Gilchrist, Chairman, S.C. African American Chamber of Commerce to serve as State Co-Chair Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson and Former Secretary of the Navy and Virginia Senator Jim Webb Serving as bipartisan National Co-Chairs.

Oil and Natural Gas Industry Could Create Over 34,000 New High-Paying Jobs in South Carolina; Offshore Development Could Result in $2 billion in Private Investment; $445 million in State Revenue.

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2018 – API today announced the formation of “Explore Offshore”, a new coalition of more than 100 community organizations, associations, businesses and local leaders in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida who support increased access to offshore U.S. oil and natural gas resources. The South Carolina effort will be led by Stephen Gilchrist, Chairman of the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce. Jim Nicholson, who served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs during the George W. Bush Administration, and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb will serve as bipartisan national co-chairs of the coalition.

Stephen Gilchrist, Chairman, S.C. African American Chamber of Commerce, Explore Offshore South Carolina Chair: “Explore Offshore will be a voice for all South Carolinians who support affordable oil and natural gas and understand its importance to our long-term energy future. As Chairman of the S.C. African American Chamber of Commerce and as an entrepreneur, I know how important affordable, reliable energy is to our members and state businesses. South Carolina now has an opportunity to be part of an effort that could bring high-paying jobs to our state as well as billions in private economic investment and state revenues through offshore oil and natural gas exploration and development. This could be a game-changer economically for many families across South Carolina. It’s time we explore offshore.”

South Carolina Petroleum Council Director Mark Harmon: “Explore Offshore is an effort to bring South Carolinians together to support expanded offshore oil and natural gas access that will help support steady and affordable energy supply for our families and our economy for decades to come. Oil and gas are essential to our everyday lives. We need to look no further than Texas and other energy producing states to see how significantly South Carolina can benefit from the jobs and investment that this type development brings with it.”

The importance of oil and natural gas to South Carolina:

  • Oil and natural gas will continue to make up over 60 percent of America’s electricity use for at least the next thirty years, according to federal government projections, even with the use of renewables on the rise.
  • More than 17 percent of net electricity generation in South Carolina in 2017 came from natural gas.
  • By 2035, the oil and natural gas industry could create over 34,000 new high-paying jobs in South Carolina
  • Offshore development could result in $2 billion in private investment into South Carolina and $445 million in state revenues to invest in K12 education, offset college tuition increases, and rebuild our failing infrastructure
  • The average salary for oil and natural gas exploration and development jobs is $116,000, of which many positions do not require a four-year degree.

Explore Offshore is a bipartisan coalition dedicated to safe and environmentally responsible

access to our offshore energy resources to help supply affordable energy for American consumers, small businesses, and manufacturers. This broad coalition of community organizations, businesses, and local associations across the Southeast in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida has come together to voice support for reliable, safe, and affordable energy.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 45 million Americans.

For the national press release click here.

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