Lt. Gov. endorses drilling off coast

More state politicians are pushing for oil rigs off South Carolina's coast. Lieutenant Governor André Bauer joined Katy Dawson (our state's Republican Party chair) and U.S. Senator, Jim DeMint (R-SC) in endorsing the “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.” campaign.

A press release quoted Bauer as saying: “Escalating gas prices are hurting our seniors each and every day. Later this year, during our winter months, seniors will see dramatically increased costs to heat their homes. The Office on Aging works closely with seniors on fixed incomes who tell me of their hardships endured by the escalating costs of fuel, which directly impacts the increased costs of food and healthcare. Many times, our seniors are forced to cut back on food and medicine to pay for fuel. We owe it to them to explore domestic drilling options, while working on solutions regarding alternative fuels.”

Also, though not endorsing this campaign, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn joined others in calling for President Bush to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

You can see a full list of the folks endorsing the "Drill Now" campaign here. Also on that list: U.S. Senator, Jim DeMint (R-SC), and
State Representatives Nathan Ballentine, Eric Bedingfield and Jeff Duncan.

The campaign's originating organization American Solutions for Winning the Future was founded by former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.

We previously reported on the Republican chair's endorsement of the plan and the momentum shift to see oil rigs off S.C.'s coast.

Critics of increased oil production have been quick to point out that it's a lack of refineries, not crude oil, that is causing gas prices to go so high. Meaning that both increased oil production and a release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves would do little more than cosmetically adjust things.