SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A group of coastal lawmakers is backing resolutions at the Georgia Statehouse to stop any offshore oil or gas drilling along the coastline.
Steve Willis, from the Center for a Sustainable Coast, says it’s about time.
“Even if they ever find offshore oil it’s going to be a big negative economically for this area,” he said.
The resolutions cite concerns about oil and or gas drilling and its impact on the fishing and tourism industry and the 21,000 jobs in those industries.
Hunter Hopkins from the Georgia Petroleum Council says “the sponsors of this legislation are obviously from the coast and I understand they’re hearing from their constituents, but I guess I am a little surprised that it came so early in the process.”
Hopkins says he will continue to lobby for the project in the state. “I do think it would still be in our best interests to go out there and see what resources might be located,” he said.
Willis disagreed saying a previous plan called for the department of energy to pay for exploration at a cost of about a billion dollars.
He also called on Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to join governors in Florida and South Carolina to oppose drilling. Willis says the effects of climate change and carbon cannot be ignored forever.
“The hole is getting very deep and the sooner we stop digging the better our future is going to be,” he said.