I read with some amusement a letter from a reader on Pawleys Island. I live on Pawleys and assure your readers that not everyone here thinks that oil rigs attract fish and produce a robust sports fishing industry. Opposition to offshore drilling is not going to go away. A fishing tournament in Georgetown recently brought half a million dollars into the county coffers. Oil rigs had nothing to do with it.
Other interesting theories don’t bear up under scrutiny. Discounting renewable energy, like wind and solar, is to deny the reality that we in the United States use 20 percent of the world’s energy and have 30 percent of the globe’s fossil fuel. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that one day fossil fuel runs out.
I attended Georgia Tech and have followed renewable energy research at that institution. I believe that within the next decade, solar and wind will be commonly used as an affordable source of energy. The S.C. coast can be the center for clean energy. Solar farms will stand where tobacco leaves once grew.
Now to economics. Volvo did not come to South Carolina because we might drill for oil. Companies like Boeing and Volvo are attracted in part by the quality of life.
At the recent “State of the County and Cities” gathering in Georgetown County, the economic forecast was described as bright. Existing smaller businesses are growing. Not a mention was made of oil. Add to that the reality there is currently no revenue sharing going to the states (50 miles off the coast is federal territory) and most oil jobs are nomadic and it doesn’t make sense to risk established industries like tourism for an elusive pot of gold.
If we in South Carolina want to do something about poverty we need to do things like fully fund pre-K education and fix our roads. Do those things and more Volvos will come.