Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., walks to a closed Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

SC's Rep. Joe Cunningham to introduce offshore drilling ban

January 08, 2019 - 9:25 am

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's newest Democratic congressman is revamping an anti-offshore drilling effort championed by his Republican predecessor.

U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham says Tuesday he's reintroducing a proposed 10-year moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling.

The Coastal Economies Protection Act was previously introduced by former GOP Congressman Mark Sanford, but it languished in a committee.

Last fall, Cunningham became the first Democrat to flip a South Carolina congressional seat in more than 30 years. Much of his campaign focused on his opposition to offshore drilling, and he built a coalition of bipartisan support.

On Monday, Cunningham applauded South Carolina's Republican attorney general for joining a legal effort to oppose the Trump administration's plans to expand drilling off the Atlantic Coast.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at

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