HH-Bluffton Chamber to speak out on Offshore drilling proposal Friday


The White House says offshore drilling could give the economy a boost, but many South Carolina communities are against it.

Soon a local chamber of commerce should chime in on the controversial issue.

“It hasn’t been on our agenda until now because it’s been a non-issue.”

That’s what the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce was saying about the issue fo offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina.

But once President Trump issued permits to allow companies to start exploring the waters off the Lowcountry coast, it became all of our issues. Now the chamber is ready to listen, and possibly speak up.

“That says we will oppose any activity that negatively affects our economy or our environment including offshore drilling,” explains Hannah Horne, Chamber Vice President Public Policy and Programs

That’s the proposed amendment to the Chamber’s legislative agenda that will be in front of its Public Policy Committee on Friday. 

That 30 person committee will decide if drilling is right for our businesses, our county, and our people.

“There is the unbelievable economic gain that the state of South Carolina. $1.6 billion in state revenues that the State gains in the first twenty years, that’s huge,” details Horne. “But we also recognize that tourism is our economic driver and it has not been the stance of this community to want anything off that coastline that is going to damage the natural beauty of our environment.”

A beauty that many feel will be forever tarnished by oil rigs and drilling platforms.
This hot button issue that the South Carolina state Chamber of Commerce hasn’t touched yet.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sided with big business and the chance for oil independence.

If the Public policy Committee approves the statement, it will go the full Chamber Board in March, and if approved there, could be added to its 17 point legislative agenda soon after.

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