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SC attorney general joins lawsuit to stop seismic testing, offshore drilling

COLUMBIA, SC -- S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson joined a lawsuit Monday against the Trump administration to block seismic testing for oil and gas off the South Carolina coast.

Backed by GOP Gov. Henry McMaster, Wilson became the first Republican attorney general to join a legal fight — launched by 16 S.C. cities, nine environmental groups and nine Democratic state attorneys general — to halt permits for exploration off the Atlantic Coast. Those suing say exploration will harm the environment and South Carolina tourism.

Wilson’s filing unites an unlikely coalition in opposition to one of President Donald Trump’s highest priorities — expanding efforts to find new deposits of fossil fuels — as the Republican president seeks to roll back Obama-era regulations that blocked drilling on more than 90 percent of the outer continental shelf.

It also signals a political rebellion of sorts by two top elected S.C. Republican officials who supported Trump — Wilson and McMaster.

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