Group from coastal Ga heads to state Capitol to oppose offshore drilling

Group from coastal Ga heads to state Capitol to oppose offshore drilling
Georgia coast.
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - People from Savannah and Brunswick are making a bus trip to Atlanta Thursday for Capitol Conservation Day.

The One Hundred Miles organization will lead the trip, as they continue to voice their disapproval of proposed offshore drilling in the Atlantic.

The organization -- one hundred miles -- is a strong advocate for the Georgia coast. As the topic of offshore drilling continues to come up, this group continues to speak out against it.

Governor Nathan Deal has requested a study from the Department of Natural Resources about offshore drilling to see if he can make a decision that's not just based on politics but more so on education.

A lot of people feel offshore drilling is not good for our coast. They feel like it would suffer tremendously. Members of the One Hundred Miles organization feels supply does not meet demand, and that minimal amounts of oil and gas are likely available from the mid and south Atlantic. If offshore drilling was to be approved, then seismic testing will have to be done to understand the location of oil and gas reserves. Seismic testing is said to be harmful to marine life. A study revealed 138,000 animals will be affected by seismic testing in the Atlantic.

"Our coastal legislators have been amazing. We have two resolutions that have been proposed in the House and the Senate, supporting our coastal fisheries and supporting our coastal tourism, and opposing offshore drilling," said Alice Keyes, One Hundred Miles, VP of Coastal Conservation.

On the other hand, there are some people who feel offshore drilling would be good for the state because it would bring more jobs.

The group departed for Atlanta Thursday morning around 6 a.m. from the Walmart on Ogeechee Road.

Just a little over two weeks ago in the Lowcountry, there was an offshore drilling protest at the South Carolina State House in Columbia. Just like in Georgia, people there are concerned oil exploration will destroy the coast and hurt the state's tourism industry. The Gullah/Geechee Nation was one of the groups that voiced their concerns on the State House steps.

"Anybody that says drilling on our coast makes sense has to be stuck on stupid," said Rep. Michael Rivers, (D) Beaufort.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says we're still a good 10 to 15 years out from recovering any oil that's out there.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has requested a waiver for the state to be exempt from drilling.

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