Each morning, we comb through the local news outlets to review the top South Carolina headlines. And if these headlines were all you had to go on, you’d easily conclude that all South Carolinians are deeply opposed to the idea of exploring 50 miles off our coast for energy resources.
So you can imagine our surprise several mornings ago to read, “Poll: 67 percent of South Carolina voters support producing offshore oil and natural gas resources.”
The headline provides a healthy reality check to the prevailing media narrative. And when you dig in a little further, you find some even more eye-popping numbers:
- 92 percent agree that increased production of oil and natural gas could lead to more jobs in the U.S.
- 86 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help lower energy costs for U.S. consumers.
- 84 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could benefit federal and state budgets through lease payments, royalty fees and other sources of revenue.
- 84 percent agree that producing more domestic oil and natural gas could help strengthen America’s national security by lessening the negative impacts of political instability occurring in other parts of the world.
Why are so many South Carolinians ready for this exciting offshore opportunity? A report we published last year provides a few critical reasons:
- Offshore energy exploration could pump over $2.7 billion in direct investment into South Carolina’s economy to help pay for schools and roads.
- Offshore energy exploration could create over 46,000 jobs by 2035.
- Offshore energy exploration helps keep energy prices low, making goods cheaper and putting real money back in the pockets of hardworking South Carolinians.
- Offshore energy exploration has made great strides in safety and can coexist with a thriving tourism industry and a beautiful natural environment.