Report shows offshore drilling would benefit SC revenue; opponents say not worth risk to coast

South Carolina News

Supporters of offshore drilling released a new report showing that South Carolina could benefit from coastal exploration. The American Petroleum Institute recently released a study looking at the potential benefit of offshore drilling, and the report finds that South Carolina could make some big bucks from coastal exploration.
The study by the American Petroleum Institute predicts that South Carolina would see the second highest level of spending from offshore drilling totaling more than $1 billion over a 20 year period.
The economic impact study by API looks at potential revenue generated from allowing access to the South Carolina coast for offshore drilling.
The report finds that drilling could create $200 million in personal income and payroll taxes.
as well as more than $96 million from property taxes.
One of the graphs in the report shows that by year-five of drilling, the state would have gained an excess of $2 million in income taxes.
But those against the idea say those numbers do not compare to the impact tourism already has on the state. 
Peg Howell, of Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic, says “Our coastal economy is worth 23 times what the very best estimate API can put out. All it takes is the reality of a spill the perception that it’s damaged our coast and wetlands before damage can come to our coastal economy.”
South Carolina’s coast is cited for bringing in more than $20 billion to the state’s economy and supporting 600,000 jobs.
Supporters of offshore drilling say the excess money could be used to offset college tuition, rebuild state infrastructure, and lower property taxes.
All of the state’s coastal mayors have expressed their opposition to offshore drilling. In fact, several say if drilling is approved in South Carolina, they will change their zoning ordinances to prohibit those operations from coming on shore.

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