Washington: Reflecting a trend on the east coast of the US, the South Carolina town of James Island on Friday registered its objections to the mooted federal government plan for hugely increased exploration and extraction of offshore oil from the Atlantic.
James Island became the seventh South Carolinian community to lodge its formal opposition to the energy plans being touted by the Department of the Interior. Hilton Head passed a similar resolution earlier in the week.
And in neighbouring North Carolina a further 12 have lodged such resolves.
For weeks now public debates have been happening at meeting halls all through the eastern seaboard states most likely to be affected by any negative consequences of offshore Atlantic expansion.
Opponents of offshore drilling worry that spills could hurt the environment and the coastal tourism industry. Supporters say energy development will be an economic boom to the states involved and say oil drilling can be done safely.
The Department of the Interior’s federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is taking comments through the end of March on what issues should be studied in developing an environmental impact statement on drilling off the Atlantic coast.
Two weeks ago a group of 12 Democrat senators form east-coast states sent a letter to President Barack Obama to drop the Atlantic oil drilling plan.