Gov. Nikki Haley seems determined to sacrifice the coast of South Carolina to appease her friends in the energy industry. And she got the ball rolling through her appointees to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

They waved their fine-and-dandy wand over offshore drilling without a legally required public hearing. This in spite of overwhelming opposition from coastal communities.

This industry is an inherently dirty and polluting business in the best of times. Consider the failed pipeline in California that ruined nine miles of beautiful beaches.

This catastrophe is considered small by industry standards. It originated from an underground pipeline said to be the safest mode of transportation for crude. Inevitably, accidents happen. By comparison a similar spill would cover the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island.

When companies consider ventures requiring large expenditures, they weigh benefits vs. risks. The loss of a billion-dollar tourism industry, the decimation of coastal real estate value, crippling commercial fishing, deprivation of recreational opportunities or the devastation of marine life does not enter into their risk assessment.

When we consider our benefits vs. risks it should be obvious where we must stand on this issue.

Indeed, citizens statewide should consider the enormous contributions we send to state coffers from sales taxes made possible by the aforementioned industries.

I urge all citizens to contact Gov. Haley and their elected representatives to express their vehement opposition to this fool’s deal. A massive public outcry is our best deterrent to the energy companies’ political contributions. We must act now or suffer the consequences for many generations to come.

Pat Sanders

Argonne Street

Charleston