March 16, 2016

Sure, it's a victory for the environment, but basically this is local tourism and small coastal towns winning out over big oil. Governing Magazine emphasis added:

The Obama administration said Tuesday it will not allow offshore drilling in the southeast Atlantic Ocean _ a significant reversal from its original plan and a major victory to coastal communities and environmental activists who fought the proposal....

The White House on Tuesday said the Interior Department received more than 1 million comments on the proposed draft.

In South Carolina, 23 municipalities representing every coastal town and city in the state formally opposed oil exploration off their coastline. A coalition of more than 400 small businesses called on Gov. Nikki Haley to reverse her support for oil exploration, which she has said will bring jobs and energy independence.

Haley called Tuesday's decision "just another disappointment from D.C."

But the opposition to drilling was amazingly bi-partisan. Many of the mayors and local officials opposing drilling were Republicans, who love big oil unless it's ruining their coastline and tourism potential. Even Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford saw which side the bread was buttered on.

"This is fantastic news for the coast of South Carolina," said Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., whose 1st Congressional District runs along much of the Palmetto State coastline. "Residents along our coast should be proud of the way they united on this issue and sent a compelling message to Washington."

Sanford also praised local activists, saying in a Facebook post Tuesday that just this weekend, he had ridden his bike near the beach and had seen residents' "Don't Drill SC" yard signs.

Here's a video of the "Hands Across the Sand" protest in South Carolina, showing just how gorgeous the beaches and coastline are. If you have time today, take a moment, click play, and bask in the beauty of the beach. Thanks, Obama.

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