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Mark Sanford Weighs In On Offshore Drilling

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CONGRESSMAN TOUTS HOME RULE

This website ran a story yesterday on the latest developments related to offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.  In our report, we quoted congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina – one of the staunchest supporters of the idea.

We’re with Duncan when it comes to offshore drilling … 100 percent.

Our energy policy is whatever keeps America’s lights on – and its engines purring – at the lowest possible cost to consumers (and with the least reliance on other nations).  This means making use of all of our natural resources – including renewables – without the impediments of onerous government over-regulation and crony capitalist market manipulation.

As part of our report, we reached out to congressman Mark Sanford of South Carolina – who opposes offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

To say there’s considerable water under the bridge between this website and Sanford would be a colossal understatement.  It’s an ocean of water. Maybe even two oceans.  And to say we take a dim view of Sanford – both personally and politically – would also be putting it politely.

We don’t like the guy.

But we’re going through this phase where we believe the exchange of ideas within the broader marketplace is more important than our own particular view of things … (crazy, right?) … meaning we are seeking out a broader array of perspectives in many of the stories we are writing.

Hence our overture to Sanford to offer us his thoughts on the offshore drilling issue.

Surprisingly, he took us up on the offer …

“I’d simply say that ‘conservative’ ought to apply to more than just financial resources,” Sanford told us, referring to “the Biblical task of stewardship … of leaving the world a better place or at least in a similar state to the one we inherited.”

He also said that “development doesn’t have to mean developing all things, particularly when they come with serious contingent and possible liabilities to our state … and will not in any way substantively affect America’s energy independence equation.”

We disagree with Sanford on that last point.  We won’t know how substantively oil and gas reserves off the Palmetto State’s coastline could impact our nation’s energy independence unless and until tests are conducted to determine what’s out there.

Right?

There is one point of ideological alignment between our view and Sanford’s view, though – the “home rule” component of this debate.

“If one believes in limited government, one also believes generally that government most local governs best – that what little government we have would be controlled at the most local level so that people might have more voice,” Sanford said. “This is the premise of federalism. Accordingly the issue of offshore (drilling) should not be decided by government officials five hundred miles away, or even people closer by but still hundreds of miles away.  Locals don’t want it not for fear of the technological advances that have been made in cleanly extracting natural resources, but because of what must take place on shore to support offshore.  They should have a voice in how their local communities develop.”

Now that’s a valid point from our perspective … one that (ironically) aligns almost perfectly with the 2016 campaign platform of Sanford’s nemesis, U.S. president Donald Trump.

Trump campaigned on the notion of leaving offshore drilling decisions up to state leaders – even though the federal government would be responsible for regulating the industry.

We support that approach … although again, South Carolina won’t be able to make an informed decision on the subject unless and until testing is done to determine the extent of the available resources.

Anyway …

We appreciate Sanford taking the time to respond to our inquiry and share his views on this subject with our readers.  We look forward to extending more inquiries to him – and to other politicians on other subjects – moving forward.

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