Local anti-offshore drilling group opposes resolution that would allow a vote on the issue

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MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – Sen. Stephen Goldfinch of District 34 filed a resolution last year that would give the people of South Carolina the ability to vote on whether they want to see offshore drilling take place along the coast.

One local anti-offshore drilling group is against Goldfinch’s resolution because they say it’s not fair that people who don’t live near the coast would get to decide the fate of it in terms of offshore drilling.

Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic, or SODA says people on the coast should decide what happens.

“Spartanburg, Pickens, Greenville, Columbia, they’re not going to be affected by offshore drilling,” Sandra Bundy with SODA said. “We on the coast are going to be affected by offshore drilling. It makes no sense. I don’t know who [Goldfinch is] representing.”

Bundy says offshore drilling doesn’t have any benefit of coastal South Carolina.

Goldfinch says the point SODA is trying to make isn’t valid.

“I think the people in the uplands and the midlands would have a strong objection to that,” Goldfinch said. “The people in the uplands and the midlands would have those jobs that would be offshore if there was ever drilling off the coast. It also affects our economy. In many places that you look, there’s profit sharing between the oil and gas companies in the state of South Carolina. That revenue sharing means better schools, better public safety, better roads. That affects the entire state.”

Goldfinch says he is in favor of offshore drilling for natural gas, but that it’s tough to do.

“The problem is that it’s not very easy to just isolate for natural gas,” Goldfinch said. “Sometimes there’s oil that comes up with that natural gas.”

North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley and Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune are opposed to offshore drilling. They say it will hurt tourism and the economy.

Looking ahead, Goldfinch says a senate subcommittee will debate the resolution this week. If it makes it through the whole process, it would end up on the November ballot this year.

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