Charleston: Charleston has added itself to a growing list of east coast towns and cities to have come out against offshore drilling.
The city council voted 7-5 for a resolution opposing seismic testing and offshore drilling.
Offshore drilling has been a hot issue since the US Department of the Interior announced the administrations’ plans to allow exploration and exploitation in the Atlantic Ocean offshore from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Protests and opposition votes have come from cities all along the east coast, however, because of fears that a spill could spread far.
The federal Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) has been consulting with communities about the drilling issue and is taking comments until the end of the month
Charleston mayor Joe Riley told the BOEM in formal comments: “Our economy is largely based on the vitality of our coastal resources, but culturally, we identify with our coastal heritage …The vitality of aquatic ecosystems and the beauty of our region is non-negotiable.”
Dissenters to the majority said that the economic benefits should be given their due weight against the pollution risk.
Boasting one of the biggest ports in the US, Charleston is the second-largest city in South Carolina and has a rich colonial-era history.
With this vote it joined 42 other Atlantic coast municipalities in registering its concerns about the environmental risks of allowing drilling.