Offshore seismic testing push continues despite oil drilling ban (copy) (copy)

A seismic survey ship operates offshore the mid-Atlantic states. International Association of Geophysical Contractors/provided

As an outspoken advocate for the collection of scientific data to study the Earth, I was gratified by Bo Peterson’s May 30 story on U.S. Geological Survey’s project to collect geophysical data to study buried faults in South Carolina.

I was equally miffed, however, by the July 12 Post and Courier editorial calling for the USGS’s parent agency to “shut the door” on geophysical data along the southeastern seaboard.

As a geologist working in coastal Louisiana for the last 40 years, I have seen firsthand the incredible scientific value of seismic data.

Seismic data acquired in coastal Louisiana and on the adjacent continental shelf over the last 60 years has made the area one of the most well-understood geological provinces in the world.

Faults and salt domes have been mapped with incredible accuracy, and the data has been used to understand the entire sedimentary architecture of the Mississippi Delta shelf margin.

Wide-ranging geophysical work from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, LSU College of Science, Tulane University, University of New Orleans and Transportation Consortium of South-Central States have provided tremendous value to the residents of Louisiana.

Scientists and policymakers have been able to engage on a host of geologic, oceanographic and ecological topics. These topics include the relationship between fault movement and wetlands loss as well as the impact of faults on infrastructure maintenance and repair costs. These subjects should be critically important to South Carolinians.

I believe it is important to recognize the value of collecting all forms of geophysical data to better understand Earth’s processes.

Geophysical data, especially through collaboration between academic and industry sources, can provide a wealth of information for South Carolina. This should be carefully considered before shutting the door on anything.


President, New Orleans Geological Society Memorial Foundation

Prytania Street

New Orleans

Leader qualities

Letters to the Editor: Mark Sanford needs to take a hike

To the July 20 letter writer who judged Mark Sanford’s leadership by calling out his “lack of veracity” and alluding to his affair:

If lack of veracity and faithfulness were a prerequisite for political leadership, we would all be in a better place.

Our current leader in Washington is all the proof we need of that.


Manchester Road


More giveaways

The July 25 Post and Courier article, “Clyburn, Warren call for student loan forgiveness,” is another in a long list of examples of Democratic politicians proposing more giveaways.

A few weeks ago, it was “free” public college tuition offered by several Democratic presidential candidates. Now it’s student loan forgiveness.

Students who had no business going to college in the first place and flunked out or quit before finishing, or selected an unmarketable major, come out as winners. The taxpayer is the loser.

Rep. Jim Clyburn was quoted as saying, “I believe ... that we have got to arrest this cancer that is growing on the lives of our young people.”

With all due respect, Rep. Clyburn has misidentified the real cancer here, and that is ever-rising college tuition costs that have been running about double the annual Consumer Price Index inflation rate for many years.

When student loans are handed out like candy, and now with Democrats proposing to forgive some loans, would any reasonable person expect that college administrators are motivated to place cost management higher on their priority list?

Shouldn’t these politicians focus on actions that would cause college administrators to finally start feeling some heat?

Hauling a few dozen public college leaders to congressional hearings to answer hard questions on costs might be a good start.

Unless these administrators get a strong message that they must find ways to rein in costs and spending, nothing will change, except costs will go up even more.


Divot Court

Mount Pleasant

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Thursday headline, “Mueller dismisses 'exoneration' for Trump,” is misleading.

An innocent person does not need to be exonerated.

President Donald Trump should not be treated differently than any other citizen.

There were no charges brought, period, so he is innocent in the eyes of the law.

The real story should be about Attorney General William Barr and his investigation into how this witch hunt started.

Hold on, because it will be epic.


Bradley Bend Drive

Moncks Corner

Forget Mueller

I’m glad to get special counsel Robert Mueller and his report out of the way.

“The Panama Papers,” a documentary about illegal activity and includes Trump’s name, reveals just the tip of the iceberg.

Amazon Prime is offering a public free viewing of the film.


Serotina Court

Mount Pleasant