This letter is in response to other letters concerning offshore drilling. Many of the statements by politicians and others ignore the complexities of actually getting the natural gas into our homes and, if oil is found, the gasoline into our cars. While Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) drilling rigs would not be visible from the beach, the oil and gas still needs to be brought to shore. Once on shore, natural gas and oil would have to be stored, refined and distributed, requiring hundreds, if not thousands, of acres of large tanks, refineries, roads and rail lines. Concurrent with this is the constant stench of petroleum and unbelievable light pollution.
Would any region of coastal South Carolina want this? Certainly not near the Grand Strand. Not near Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and other islands in the United Nations Biosphere Reserve. Lights would disorient sea turtles and migrating birds. Not in the ACE Basin -- that would be unthinkable. If proposed in Jasper County, residents with multimillion-dollar homes on Hilton Head Island or in Palmetto Bluff would protest.
The problem is not entirely with OCS drilling. The problem is with the onshore effects resulting from it. Unless and until these questions are addressed, our senators and congressmen should work toward more environmentally sound and sustainable solutions. Tourism is just one important consideration. What about the rest of us who live here all the time?
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Sally R. Murphy