SC governor wants offshore drilling exemption | National & World Business

COLUMBIA, S.C. South Carolina's governor said Wednesday he is seeking an exemption from the Trump administration's expansion of offshore drilling, a move that will test the relationship between the president and one of his earliest supporters.

Gov. Henry McMaster told reporters that the risks associated with drilling pose too great a threat to South Carolina's lush coastline, around which much of the state's $20 billion tourism industry is based.

"We cannot afford to take a chance with the beauty, the majesty and the economic value and vitality of our wonderful coastline in South Carolina," McMaster said. "It is just too important. This is a matter of serious importance to us in South Carolina."

McMaster reiterated his overall opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing, the exploratory step before actual drilling can take place. That puts him at odds with President Donald Trump, whose administration announced last week an expanded drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic coast, as well as in waters off of California for the first time in more than three decades.

Drilling would be allowed from Florida to Maine in areas that have been blocked for many years.

The administration has already shown readiness to back off of the expansion when met with state opposition. On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke nixed drilling plans off of Florida's coast after a meeting with Republican Gov. Rick Scott. On Wednesday, Zinke's spokeswoman, Heather Swift, said the governors of bo....

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