The U.S. Department of the Interior is proposing to make our local coastlines available for oil and gas drilling, threatening our environment, jobs and tourism up and down the coast and putting our region at risk of devastating oil spills like the BP disaster five years ago.
Oil and gas industry leaders are saying that Atlantic Offshore Drilling will boost economy,
will help gain American oil independence and is environmentally safe.
Bi-partisan states Florida, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine already said NO.
"We see no documented scientific justification why the uncertain and likely short-term benefits of oil and gas exploration in the mid-Atlantic warrant further risks to the environment and public health," Small said in a letter.” Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control secretary David Small.
Atlantic Offshore Drilling Will NOT Lead to American Oil Independence
According to the US Energy Information Administration, oil production from drilling offshore in the outer continental shelf wouldn't begin until around the year 2017. Once begun, it wouldn't reach peak production until about 2030 when it would produce only 200,000 barrels of oil per day (in yellow above).This would supply a meager 1.2% of total US annual oil consumption (just 0.6% of total US energy consumption). And, the offshore oil would be sold back to the US at the international rate, which today is $106 a barrel. So, the oil produced by offshore drilling would not only be a "drop in the bucket", it would be expensive, which translates to "no relief at the pump".
Estimates of oil and gas reserves, jobs and revenue to South Carolina are INFLATED and UNSUPPORTED
INDUSTRY CLAIM: There is twice the amount of oil and gas in the Atlantic estimated by U.S. Department of Interior based on previous wells drilled.
FACT: There is NO scientific or geologic basis for API/Quest to double this estimate.
INDUSTRY CLAIM: Report assumes U.S. Treasury will share revenues with the Atlantic states, and there will be no “cap” on maximum amount paid to states.
FACT: There is currently NO revenue sharing in the Atlantic. GOMESA (Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006) currently provides for 37.5% share of the total bonus bids, rents, and royalties earned by the feds on new leases (a very small part of the GoM), capped at $375 M and shared four ways among AL, LA, MS, TX. The draft FY2016 Federal budget eliminates these GOMESA revenue sharing payments.
INDUSTRY CLAIM: Offshore drilling will create 35,000+ jobs in South Carolina by 2035 -- 11,000 “direct” jobs offshore and 24,000 “indirect” jobs in industries such as retail, admin/waste mgmt, healthcare/social assistance, real estate, food services and other. Report calculates direct jobs by assuming an average of 30 wells drilled per year.
FACT: Job numbers are inflated. Direct jobs will not be local. Rig jobs require highly-trained and very experienced personnel who will come from established fields like the Gulf of Mexico. These “nomads” work the rigs on a rotational shift of 2 or 3 weeks on the rig, returning to their home states for the 2 to 3 weeks time off. They will not move to SC and contribute to the local economy on their time off. Report’s inflated numbers account for only 9400 of the claimed 24,000 indirect jobs. 30 wells drilled per year would be an unprecedented amount of drilling in a new, exploratory lease area. Less than a third of those wells would likely be drilled; therefore, less than 2500 direct jobs would be created.
INDUSTRY CLAIM: Atlantic lease sales will start in 2018 and money will start flowing to states from companies bidding on offshore tracts. Drilling will start in 2019.
FACT: Atlantic leasing is scheduled for 2021, when companies awarded leases begin paying bonus and annual rent to the federal government, not the states. Drilling will not begin until after an extensive permitting process, likely ~2026. The approximately 7-year difference in start dates results in highly exaggerated revenues to the states.
Oil Industry Claims From The American Petroleum Institute (API)/QUEST Report