Lawmakers Push To Prevent Drilling Off Atlantic Coast

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Asbury Park. July 2, 2014

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Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Frank Pallone
Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Frank Pallone voice opposition to offshore oil drilling (photo by Phil Gregory)

Oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic Coast is prohibited until 2017, and some members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation are pushing to extend that ban.

Senator Bob Menendez says he’ll fight any effort to allow oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

“New Jersey’s tourism, ports, and commercial fisheries together support a workforce of more than 1.5 million people. The impact of a major oil spill here would be devastating. We have a duty to keep our coastal economy and our ecosystems safe and sustainable.”

Menendez, Senator Corey Booker, and Congressman Frank Pallone have written to President Obama urging the administration to keep regulations against Atlantic drilling in effect until 2022.

If that doesn’t happen, Menendez says they’ll take their fight against drilling to the U-S Supreme Court.

Congressman Pallone says drilling for oil off the Atlantic Coast would not reduce gasoline prices.

“If we really want to achieve energy independence, we shouldn’t be drilling in this very fragile area that impacts the shore. We should be doing more renewals, whether that’s solar power, wind power, whatever.”

Marilyn Schlossbach owns Langosta Lounge on the Asbury Park boardwalk. She says drilling off the coastline could pose a threat to the shore’s economy.

“People move here to enjoy the coast, to enjoy the beauty, the cleanliness, the protection of our fish that we eat, our kids swimming and playing in the ocean, and the beautiful patios that you can sit on and enjoy a meal here. So if anything damages that for any moment in time, it affects everybody.”


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