S.C. mayors urge Obama to block seismic blasting

The mayor of Beaufort, South Carolina led an effort to share local opposition to seismic blasting with White House officials in Washington, D.C. (© iStock)

Mayors from 15 coastal South Carolina towns and cities delivered letters to President Obama, urging him to deny permits for seismic blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. After a persistent public outcry from coastal communities, President Obama’s administration in the spring blocked leasing for oil and gas in the Atlantic from Virginia to Georgia for at least five years. However, that action did not cancel pending permits for seismic blasting.

Seismic blasting helps the oil industry pick locations to sink exploratory wells. Scientists say the airgun blasts are harmful to marine animals, including the endangered right whale, as well as commercial fish stocks. The mayors also objected because the seismic blasting is a precursor to oil drilling, which they had successfully protested. The mayors and more than 100 coastal communities said oil drilling off the coast was too risky to the environment and their economies.

Read the full text of the letter here.

The Post & Courier: 15 S.C. mayors urge Obama to say no to seismic blasting

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