Campsen prefiles legislation to prohibit offshore drilling

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State Senator Chip Campsen, a Republican who represents the coastal areas of Beaufort County, pre-filed a bill Dec. 11 that prohibits the issuance of state and local permits for infrastructure and other activities related to offshore drilling.

Twenty-eight of 46 senators joined Senator Campsen as co-sponsors of his bill.

Earlier this year, 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. His pre-filed bill would make the ban permanent.

A maritime industry executive, Campsen said in a release, “Offshore drilling would inevitably result in massive industrialization of our coastline. It would damage our coast’s rich natural, historic, cultural and economic resources. I am pleased twenty-eight Senate colleagues joined me in a bipartisan effort to protect South Carolina’s coast from offshore drilling.“

Campsen introduced his anti-drilling budget proviso on April 17, 2019. It passed the Senate by a resounding vote of 40 to 4. The House concurred, and Governor McMaster signed it into law. The bill Senator Campsen and 28 of his colleagues pre-filed for the 2020 legislative year would make the drilling ban permanent law.

Campsen represents approximately one-half of South Carolina’s coast. His district includes coastal areas in Charleston, Colleton, and Beaufort Counties. In addition to serving as the chairman of the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee, he serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources, Judiciary, Legislative Oversight, Rules, and Transportation Committees.

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