Campsen bill to prevent offshore drilling clears key vote

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Senate Bill 870 received key approval from a five-member S.C. Senate Subcommittee on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The vote – four to one – signifies the first approval of the Senate to permanently prohibit infrastructure associated with offshore drilling off the coast of
South Carolina.

The bill, pre-filed by Senator Chip Campsen (R-Charleston, Beaufort and Colleton counties) prohibits the issuance of state and local permits for infrastructure and other activities related to offshore drilling.

A maritime industry executive, Campsen said in a release, “I appreciate the Subcommittee’s swift and deliberate vote in first approval of S.870. Offshore drilling is incompatible with our beautiful,
historic coast.”

Thirty-one of 46 senators joined Senator Campsen as co-sponsors of his bill. Last year, Senator Campsen successfully authored and passed the only state or federal law protecting South Carolina’s coast from offshore drilling as a proviso in the 2019-2020 state budget. Senate Bill 870 would make the ban permanent.

Elected to the South Carolina Senate in 2004, Campsen represents approximately one-half of South Carolina’s coast.