Beaufort mayor: Offshore oil drilling 'potentially detrimental' for Lowcountry

bheffernan@islandpacket.comFebruary 14, 2013 

Billy Keyserling

Talk of offshore drilling strikes some in the Lowcountry as an unnecessary risk to the environment and tourism industry.

"Why would we risk and threaten the golden egg when there is no seeming emergency and when it has a potentially detrimental environmental impact that would kill that golden egg of tourism?" Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said.

Keyserling said he would rather invest in South Carolina's wind and mainland natural gas industries than expose the coastline to oil-spill disasters like the Gulf Coast has faced.

"I think it poses an undue threat to the quality of life to the people who live here and the people who visit here and those who want to live here," he said.

Hilton Head Island Mayor Drew Laughlin said he would need more details about the locations of the drill sites and regulations governing them before making up his mind about the issue.

"Experience shows us that there are risks associated with offshore drilling," he added. "Just ask the people in the Gulf."

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