In case you missed it over the past couple days, Charleston Congressman Joe Cunningham quite literally made a little noise on Capitol Hill this week, setting off an air horn during a committee meeting as a demonstration during a discussion of seismic air gun blasting and offshore oil exploration.

Recognized during a Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on Thursday as members questioned a Trump administration NOAA fisheries administrator about the impact of the seismic guns, Cunningham asked for unanimous consent to blast a consumer air horn in the sparsely populated committee room.


After a bit of silly parliamentary banter, Cunningham set off the horn and proceeded to ask about the relative disruption of that little horn versus guns that Cunningham says is roughly 16,000-times louder, used to probe how much undersea oil is available for extraction.

South Carolina municipalities have been fighting against dictates from President Donald Trump that could open up the waters off Palmetto State beaches to oil exploration and drilling. Coastal states, cities, and towns with leaders liberal and conservative have passed resolutions standing against the drilling and/or exploration.

South Carolina is among the coastal states that have joined a lawsuit opposing the Trump administration’s plans to relax the laws that have protected S.C. beaches until now. Gov. Henry McMaster was a key Trump supporter in the 2016 presidential primary.

Cunningham, a marine biologist by schooling who most recently worked as an attorney in Charleston, turned the 1st Congressional District blue in November in part because of his stance against offshore drilling. His opponent, former state Rep. Katie Arrington previously expressed support for Trump’s lifting of the ban on drilling.

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