Congressman Cunningham Introduces Bill to Ban Offshore Drilling of the Atlantic Coast

January 8, 2019
Press Release
The Coastal Economies Protection Act would place a ten-year moratorium off-shore oil and gas drilling and seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts


Please find brief remarks from Rep. Cunningham here.

Washington, D.C.  – Rep. Joe Cunningham announced today that he is introducing legislation to protect South Carolina’s coastlines from the devasting impacts of oil and gas exploration and seismic airgun blasting. Specifically, the Coastal Economies Protection Act would place a ten-year moratorium on off-shore oil and gas drilling and seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

“The Lowcountry’s vibrant natural resources are vital to our economy and way of life and I have been clear since day one about my commitment to fighting against dangerous and unwanted offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting,” said Congressman Cunningham. “I am proud to have the support of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, advocates, and organizations up and down the coast of South Carolina. South Carolinians on both sides of the aisle are united in opposition to offshore drilling and the threat it poses to tourism, the economy, and our quality of life. We simply ask that Washington respects our wishes.”


“I have always strongly opposed offshore drilling along South Carolina’s coast. Tourism is one of our state's largest and most profitable industries, and we cannot afford to risk destroying our beaches and coastal environments. Drilling for oil and natural gas can permanently contaminate and injure our vital coastal ecosystems. I firmly believe that Congress should act swiftly to block this dangerous expansion of offshore drilling and I am thankful to have a fierce new ally in Representative Joe Cunningham fighting with me to protect the environment and our state’s natural beauty.” – Majority Whip Clyburn

“While we will pursue all legal means available here in Charleston to protect the Atlantic from offshore drilling, it’s incredibly welcome to have Rep. Cunningham take the fight to Washington. He’s not just working to protect the people and resources of the South Carolina coast, but for the entire East Coast.” - Catherine Wannamaker, Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center

“In Charleston and all along our coast, the voices speaking out against offshore drilling have been loud, steady, and diverse. Still, the federal government refuses to listen. By taking our message to Washington, Representative Cunningham is reaffirming our staunchest opposition and standing up for South Carolina and every coastal community.” - Laura Cantral, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation League

“Congressman Cunningham has spoken loudly in opposition to offshore drilling. Now he's following his talk with action and leading the charge to stop offshore drilling in the Atlantic. There's simply no place along our coast where dirty and dangerous offshore drilling makes sense. We are glad that Congressman Cunningham knows this and is continuing the bipartisan legacy of opposing offshore drilling from South Carolina's Lowcountry.” - John Tynan, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of South Carolina