Alliance for a Living Ocean Urges Campaign Against Offshore Drilling

Jan 30, 2018

The Trump Administration intends to reverse Obama-era protections and drill for oil in the Atlantic Ocean, and Alliance for a Living Ocean is joining numerous other environmental organizations, as well as state lawmakers, to push back against this proposal. The drilling plan includes the Jersey Shore, “and would allow rigs to come within three miles of beaches,” states the nonprofit founded on Long Beach Island.

ALO encourages residents to visit regulations.gov to submit comments regarding the 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is accepting comments until March 9.

Additionally, ALO pointed out, Clean Ocean Action has scheduled a moderated public hearing to oppose offshore oil, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Hamilton, N.J., from 3-7 p.m. on Feb. 14. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a “listening session” on the same date, and at the same time and location.

“Unlike public hearings, these ‘listening sessions’ will not allow for spoken public testimony and will merely provide laptops where comments can be submitted online,” Clean Ocean Action explains. “That is why Clean Ocean Action, along with many other N.J. groups … are hosting a moderated public hearing at the same time and location of BOEM’s public meeting.

“Stop by the citizen public hearing first to voice your opinion and get the facts before stopping by BOEM’s meeting to display your opposition with signage, and submit your comments online if you have not already done so.”

For additional information, visit the Facebook page “Oppose Offshore Oil & Gas! Public Meeting in NJ.”

Governor-elect Phil Murphy said the intent to drill “runs counter to our values and it endangers our most precious natural resource. What we need to do is support our Shore and the millions of people – from everyday New Jerseyans to those who come from around the world – who love our beaches. We need to support the billions of dollars in economic activity, the tens of thousands of jobs and the thousands of businesses that rely upon a safe and clean shoreline.

“We must stand firm against any plan for fossil fuel exploration, drilling or development off the Atlantic Coast – whether it be three miles, 30 miles or 300 miles from New Jersey.”

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6th) added, “The decision to open up the Atlantic to drilling is proof that this administration does not care about coastal communities or their economies. This is all part of an anti-environmental agenda that could have catastrophic consequences for our environmental and economic health.

“The fishing, boating and recreational industries would be debilitated by any oil spill along the Atlantic. Our coastal communities have made it absolutely clear that they do not want drilling in the Atlantic.”

Pallone, along with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker, sent a letter urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reject the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s plan to open the Atlantic to oil and gas exploration. In the letter, the lawmakers said the “proposal shows a complete disregard for New Jersey’s economy, environment and quality of life, and should be immediately rejected.” —J.K.-H.

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