FEEDBACK: On independent living; Delay exploring for oil and gas

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More detail on foster care, independent living

To the editor:

In your recent TOP FIVE report dated November 21, there was a focus on aging out of foster care and the article noted, “South Carolina is among 25 states that has not chosen to extend foster care beyond 18 years old.” On behalf of the Palmetto Association for Children and Families (PAFCAF), I wanted to take a moment and provide clarification on this point for future stories or publication.

While traditional foster care does not extend past the age of 18 through Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, there are numerous programs, funding opportunities and support mechanisms available for youth ages 18 through 21 in South Carolina who have at one time resided in the foster care system. These programs are collectively known as independent living services.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has several resources available on their website which provide an overview of these opportunities. You can access that information by clicking here.

As the statewide association of child welfare providers, we see this discussion as an opportunity for the state legislature and DSS to provide additional resources to those who age out of the system. The article also mentions the involvement of youth in the decision-making process, which we highly encourage. The GOALL youth advisory board is one resource legislators and decision makers can use when drafting policy around extended foster care.

We invite you and your colleagues to continue exploring ways in which our legislature and state agencies can provide more services and improve outcomes for children in our system of care.  Thank you!

— Megan M. Branham, director of policy and research, PAFCAF , Columbia, S.C.

Delay exploration for oil, gas of S.C. coast

To the editor:

Given the unexpressed need for oil and gas product exploration for new reserves at this time, it is recommended to delay in this process in order to employ a better surveying technology, one without the potential for so much damage to the ocean’s ecosystem and the economy of the area.

The most immediate concern is the use of air gun technology. The vessels used for this process pull large arrays of air guns that fire every 10 to 12 seconds, 24 hours a day for months. Each firing creates the loudest noise in the ocean – 246 to 253 decibels. The data obtained from this survey technique is used to project where oil deposits might be located and how much oil may be found at the site. Then test wells are drilled to verify the data. Alternatives to sonic boom technology are emerging. Seismic prospecting, well logging, gravity surveying, magnetic prospecting, geochemical prospecting, ambient seismic field noise correlation tomography (ASNT) and control source electromagnetism (CSEM) are those most immediately available.

Geospatial satellite technology using tens to hundreds of earth-imaging/surveying satellite systems will be circling the Earth in the next few years. Companies such as PlanetLabs, DigitalGlobe, Satellogic, Google, ViaSat, NorthStar and Teledyne are developing and launching these networks as well as a host of companies from India, the European Union, Russia and China.

Longer term in the development cycle is the use of the emerging satellite networks to locate oil and gas deposits by control source electromagnetism (CSEM), interpretation technology and earth systems modeling. Other technologies beyond these will likely emerge but are not knowable now.

Delay will not impact national security, foreign policy, the U.S. economy or the federal budget. Delay will provide the opportunity to minimize the impact of the current violent air gun technology upon sea life.

— Fred Palm, Edisto Island, S.C.

Hewitt “gets it” on drilling

To the editor:

I applaud Lee Hewitt, my representative in the House.

Lee [R-Georgetown] is a member of the ad hoc committee [on offshore oil and gas exploration.]  He has listened to his constituents and has educated himself about seismic testing and offshore drilling for oil.  He is squarely opposed to both.  He understands the threat to our economy that drilling for oil represents.

Over 70 percent of the South Carolina’s accommodation tax revenue comes from the three coastal counties.  I doubt that people are moving to South Carolina because of the prospect of oil drilling.

I am also disappointed in Sen. [Stephen] Goldfinch who continues to show that he has not done his homework and has not listened to his constituents.  For example, Mr. Goldfinch is still under the illusion that you can drill for gas and not oil.  Not so, oil and gas go together. You cannot drill just for gas

— Jim Watkins, Pawleys Island. S.C.

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