The Atlantic makes up 3.82 billion barrels of the 18 billion barrels of oil that were previously off limits under the federal offshore drilling moratorium. To put that into perspective, consider that the US consumes over 7.5 billion barrels of oil per year.
The US Department of Energy has concluded this amount of oil would have an insignificant impact on gas prices at the pump and would have similarly insignificant impacts on the future cost of natural gas.
The SC Board of Economic Advisors has stated, “While offshore oil and gas activities have become much safer in recent years, spilled oil and coastal shorelines don’t mix. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks the South Atlantic as having the highest relative environmental sensitivity to spilled oil. Given the relatively low amount of potential resources off of our shores and the environmental sensitivity of our coastline, there does not seem to be much incentive for drilling off South Carolina at current prices.”