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South Carolina Petroleum Council: Offshore exploration is critical to state's economic future

COLUMBIA, February 13, 2018 – South Carolina Petroleum Council Executive Director Mark Harmon today highlighted the need for exploring offshore energy resources and the importance to South Carolina’s economic future prior to today’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public hearing on the Interior Department’s proposed five-year offshore natural gas and oil leasing plan.

“The Interior’s offshore proposal is the first step in advancing South Carolina’s economic potential and energy security. Offshore energy exploration and development can lead to significant economic growth, the creation of high-paying jobs, and millions of dollars flowing into state coffers to fix our schools, our infrastructure, and build a brighter future for communities all across South Carolina,” said Harmon. “This afternoon’s BOEM hearing allows the public to provide critical input regarding South Carolina’s energy and economic future.”

“We can’t effectively analyze America’s energy potential without exploring off the shore of South Carolina to see what resources exist. In fact, the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf hasn’t been analyzed for energy resources in over three decades – which means that our current data is outdated. Over the last few years, industry has developed advanced technologies that allow us to safely and accurately determine how much natural gas and oil actually exists off of South Carolina, which will allow us to determine next steps for our energy future.”

“Offshore energy exploration and production is necessary for U.S. energy and national security and helps make America less energy dependent on unfriendly nations for the foreseeable future. In addition to increased security, offshore production can bring more high-paying jobs for everyday South Carolinians, which in turn means the potential for increased spending across the state at restaurants, shops, and through other activities.”

The South Carolina Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. Learn more at