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Offshore Drilling Reversal

Staff Pick

A curious thing happened in 2015 along the coast of South Carolina: One-by-one, towns and cities with Atlantic Ocean beachfront began voting to stand against proposed oil and gas exploration off their beaches. Fearing the harm eventual drilling could do to vistas off the coast, not to mention the potential for a catastrophic spill just a few miles offshore, mayors and activists took a hard line against the testing measures being proposed by the federal government. Even reliably conservative Congressmen Mark Sanford and Tom Rice sensed the growing sentiment and stood against seismic testing. (The same can’t be said for U.S. Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham.) Then in March, the Obama administration said it was reversing its plans to open waters off the Atlantic coast to drilling. Score one for the green guys. —Sam Spence
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