I am writing in response to an April 21 story titled “Tons of explosives, chemical weapons dumped offshore South Carolina,” which falsely claims future seismic testing in the Atlantic would be a safety risk.
The article simply serves as a platform for those who are opposed to U.S. oil and natural gas development. The more outlandish the claims, the better received by those opposed to any kind of offshore exploration and development. These contrived claims do nothing to change the fact that seismic surveying is a proven, safe method for exploring oil and natural gas resources used for decades without setting off munitions. In fact, it will help better identify these sites.
It is certainly regrettable our ocean has been used as a dumping ground for military munitions and other waste. However, there is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that seismic surveying would in any way affect these discarded materials that, in some cases, have been in the ocean for 100 years.
Most experts note that there is no technical way for the non-impulsive energy of seismic surveying to cause the detonation of munitions. As a former military infantry officer I can confidently say all military munitions are transported without a primary explosive — such as a fuse — to initiate an explosive sequence, especially when they are destined for disposal.
Oil and natural gas development would bring high-paying jobs, significant private investment and additional tax revenue to our state. Facts show that offshore energy exploration can be done safely and responsibly while also providing tremendous economic opportunities for South Carolina.
E. Bay Street