MURRELLS INLET – State Rep. Lee Hewitt, R-Georgetown, has been appointed to a House committee that will study offshore oil and gas drilling and make recommendations concerning drilling off South Carolina.
“I’m honored to serve on this very important committee,” Hewitt said. “I’ve been clear in my opposition to offshore drilling off our coast based on what I’ve heard from my constituents, particularly the municipalities I represent. I look forward to bringing this perspective to the committee to ensure our coast is protected from a drilling disaster.”
Hewitt was notified of his appointment to the House Offshore Drilling Ad-Hoc Committee in a letter this week from House Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. David Hiott, R-Pickens.
In the letter Hiott said, “Offshore drilling is an important issue and several bills have already been introduced. This issue will attract national attention and call for concern from across the state.”
All of the municipalities in Hewitt’s coastal district – Pawleys Island, McClellanville, Awendaw and Mt. Pleasant – have passed resolutions opposing offshore oil drilling.
According to media reports, all of the current mayors of South Carolina coastal cities and towns have taken positions opposing drilling.
“The coastal areas of South Carolina are very concerned about the impacts of oil spills on the beaches, marine life and the tourism industry, and understandably have taken strong positions opposing drilling,” Hewitt said. “My job is to convey these concerns to the committee and work toward an outcome that protects our natural resources and coastal economy.”
Last month President Trump signed an executive order expanding oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, overturning President Obama’s withdrawal of the Atlantic and other areas from drilling consideration.
Hewitt, a freshman legislator, serves on the House Agricultural, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee and the Environmental Affairs Subcommittee. Last month Hewitt was appointed by House Speaker Jay Lucas to the House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee.
Hewitt is also a former S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control board member.