Harriet Keyserling Conservation Advocacy Award -
In 2009, Peg Howell and her husband semi-retired to Pawleys Island. In 2013, just 4 years after her arrival in South Carolina, she began noticing pieces from her County Councilman and State Representative in local newspapers supporting drilling for oil and gas in the Atlantic.
Knowing first-hand the risks that offshore drilling and seismic testing pose, Peg was inspired to act. She co-founded SODA – Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic – an all-volunteer, non-partisan, grassroots organization whose mission is “to prevent seismic airgun surveys and drilling for oil and natural gas along the Atlantic coast.”
Peg and SODA have collected thousands of comments, turned out thousands of voters to hearings, council meetings, and rallies, and have worked with bipartisan leaders to fight offshore drilling at the local, state, and national levels. It is undeniable that the tireless work of Peg and SODA has transformed the political and public sentiment in South Carolina to one that is staunchly opposed to drilling – from every South Carolina coastal community to the Governor’s mansion and into the halls of Congress.
Peg’s leadership in the fight against offshore drilling is rooted in first-hand experience with the oil and gas industry and seeing its impacts on communities. In addition to serving as the first female offshore rig supervisor in the late 1970s, Peg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College, completed graduate coursework in petroleum engineering and economics at Louisiana State University, and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Peg also served as Assistant Dean at the Harvard Business School and a strategist for a global specialty chemical company. For the last 25 years, Peg has led her own company, Howell Consulting Group, where she has been a business consultant and coach to executive teams across a variety of industries around the world.
With her business and petroleum engineering background, Peg has traveled throughout South Carolina and to Washington D.C. to educate both voters and their elected leaders about the dangers of offshore drilling and seismic testing. Armed with information about the latest seismic and drilling developments, Peg has stressed why leaders should act now to prevent this practice off our coast.
Through her tireless work, Peg has empowered thousands of citizens to make their voices heard and has helped to build a strong and powerful movement to stop drilling off of our coast. As a result, elected officials from both parties and all corners of the state have stood in strong opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing – a feat that many thought impossible 6 years ago as Peg began this fight.
Congratulations! We thank you for your service to South Carolina!
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