RELEASE – Attorney General Wilson cautiously optimistic about federal government’s decision to halt expansion of offshore drilling

COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson reacted today to news that the U.S. Department of Interior has decided to indefinitely halt plans to expand offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast. AG Wilson filed a lawsuit against the federal government to halt the drilling and the seismic testing preceding it, arguing the seismic blasts would harm wildlife and the state’s fishing and tourism industries.

The Trump administration’s decision came after an Alaskan court ruled that one president cannot undo what a previous president had done. Former President Obama banned drilling in the Alaskan Arctic and the Atlantic. President Trump is seeking to reverse those bans to allow seismic testing and drilling.

“While our lawsuit is far from over, we’re optimistic that this step by the federal government is a good sign that we will ultimately be successful at protecting our coast,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Our lawsuit is the only one that relied on the Alaska precedent and made the same arguments as the Alaska court just concluded. We think this is great news for our coast and our case, but we’re not just concerned about the leasing of federal land; we think it’s critical that seismic testing off the coast of South Carolina is also off the table, consistent with the rule of law.​”