9th District Delegation Joins Legislative Effort to Stop Offshore Drilling

Wants New Jersey to Receive Same Exemption as Florida
Feb 14, 2018

State Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of New Jersey’s 9th Legislative District have requested to join as cosponsors on companion bills A-839 and S-258, which would prohibit offshore drilling for oil or natural gas in state waters. The legislation would also prohibit the leasing of tidal or submerged lands in state waters for the purposes of oil or natural gas exploration, development or production.

Sen. Jeff Van Drew, Assemblyman Bruce Land and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak of the 1st Legislative District introduced the measures.

“As coastal legislators, our delegation has a longstanding record of vehemently opposing offshore drilling off our state’s coast,” Connors, Rumpf and Gove said in a joint statement. “Safeguarding our state’s environment and economic viability should be the priority – not lining the pockets of corporate executives.

“Our principled position is consistent with the views held by a large segment of constituency who are fearful of the potential that offshore drilling will have a harmful impact on our state’s coastline, marine life and the overall quality of life of residents.”

The delegation also expressed serious economic concerns related to the Trump administration’s intent to permit offshore drilling. “New Jersey’s tourism industry is a major aspect of the state’s overall economy,” they noted. “Millions of tourists visit our state’s pristine beaches but may be less inclined to do so if offshore drilling is permitted. Tourists and residents want to see an open ocean and sunrises – not oil rigs dotting the horizon in what was previously a protected Atlantic Ocean.

“Offshore drilling poses far too big of a risk for New Jersey,” they added. “This is the same message conveyed by the state of Florida prior to being granted an exemption by the federal government. If Florida’s concerns were deemed justified by the White House, then so should New Jersey’s if there is to be an expectation of fairness and consistency in public policy.

“Allowing this double standard to continue is simply not an option especially given the consistent, intense level of opposition expressed by our state’s elected representatives. The legislative initiative we are supporting is an appropriate response to reject an ill-conceived policy handed down by federal officials who, so far, have been tone-deaf to New Jersey’s resounding opposition.” —J.K.H.

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