Opinion: Energy data should fuel legislative decisions


Every South Carolinian, young and old, should know the basics about our country's energy supply. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (www.eia.gov):

1) The U.S. now produces more energy than any country in the world.

2) The U.S. exports more energy than we import.

3) Horizontal drilling and fracking have enabled the U.S. to produce vast amounts of oil and gas from formations that were not productive under previous drilling methods.

4) The U.S. has natural gas reserves that will last for the next 92 years!

With this much energy available, why would anyone suggest drilling off South Carolina's coast? Other parts of the country have sufficient production and refining capacity to meet our national needs and still export 10% of our fossil fuels to other countries.

Long ago, the South Carolina Legislature wisely decided to preserve our coast for tourism and conservation, now a $24 billion industry. They know a single oil spill could have disastrous financial impacts.

The data is clear. We have more fossil fuel available today than ever before. Energy prices are near record lows. Tourism along our coast is at a record high. The fossil fuel industry is currently in financial distress.

Oil and natural gas reserves are adequate for decades. And, most importantly, renewable energy is becoming economically competitive and growing quickly.

Given these facts, why do our two U.S. senators and five of our seven U.S. representatives continue to support offshore drilling in the midst of a national energy glut?


Murrells Inlet