PPI Launches New Website & Video on South Carolina’s Offshore Energy Opportunity

March 11, 2015



Charleston, S.C. – Today, Palmetto Promise Institute (formerly Palmetto Policy Forum) President Ellen Weaver joined U.S. Representative Jeff Duncan and others at a press conference to announce the launch of OffshoreOpportunity.com, a new online resource dedicated to educating South Carolinians about the potential of offshore energy development.  The press conference was held in conjunction with a meeting convened by the federal Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) to solicit feedback from South Carolinians on the issue of offshore exploration.

In addition to a two-minute animated video that explains the offshore exploration process, the OffshoreOpportunity.com site tackles frequently asked questions and features PPI’s cutting-edge report on the issue, SC’s Offshore Opportunity: Economic & Environmental Impacts of Atlantic Energy Exploration.

Commenting on the announcement, Ms. Weaver said, “Palmetto Promise Institute offers well-researched information for South Carolina citizens and decision-makers, presented in a cutting-edge, relevant way. Our research concludes that South Carolina could be the 2nd biggest state beneficiary of a potential Atlantic-based energy production boom.  We’re pleased that OffshoreOpportunity.com can serve as a vibrant online hub for South Carolinians to get the facts and then make their voice heard on this generational opportunity for our state.

Key findings from the Offshore Opportunity report include:

  • At peak production in 2035, capital investment could reach $2.7 billion annually with up to nearly 46,000 new jobs
  • Lease and royalty payments to the state could exceed $1 billion dollars in 2035 with $163 million generated in state and local taxes.
  • Accounting for the cost of carbon impacts and the unlikely event of a spill, the ratio of benefits to costs is 2:1.

The report accounts for the current uncertainty (pending new seismic mapping) of the volume of energy resources present in the OCS by making outcome projections for low, medium and high production scenarios.  It also goes a step further than prior studies, performing a cost/benefit analysis of potential environmental impacts such as emissions, and the cost of spills or other environmental hazards, key considerations for policy makers given our beautiful, tourism-rich coast.

Based on a larger study of the Atlantic coast authored by Dr. Timothy J. Considine, a specialist in economic forecasting in the area of energy exploration, the report was produced in collaboration with the Interstate Policy Alliance (IPA) and a coalition of state-based think tanks in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.