Drilling Foes Applauded

Aug 30, 2017

To the Editor:

In an Aug. 16 Philadelphia Inquirer story, “New fight to stop oil, gas drilling off Jersey Shore,” I learned that the Trump administration had just closed the comment period for a new program covering oil and gas exploration on the continental shelf “along virtually the entire nation’s coasts.”

Several members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation have written to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in opposition to the plan, including both U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez and Representatives Frank Pallone, Albio Sires, Donald Norcross and Bill Pascrell Jr. Thank you, gentlemen.

Their letter said, “The reopening of this process not only endangers New Jersey’s coastal economy, but it ignores the local communities that would be most impacted by oil drilling – including over 120 municipalities, 41,000 businesses, and 500,000 fishing families from up and down the coast who have already voiced their opposition to oil and gas activities.”

I wondered why Tom MacArthur wasn’t mentioned. His district covers coastal areas north of here and he has a home on LBI. I searched his website looking for his position, nothing. I called his district office and his D.C. one, but I got no answers.

Then I remembered that Tom had sponsored the National Energy Security Corridors Act H.R.-2295. If passed, it will create “energy corridors” on all federal and national park lands, giving natural gas pipelines “right-of-way.” It is not a great leap from allowing gas and oil drilling on federal lands and allowing it off the Atlantic coast. I don’t think we need to give Tom the benefit of the doubt on this.

I believe that Rep. MacArthur will do the bidding of offshore drilling interests. He may not be the point man, but he will not move a finger to stop it either. 

James Mullin

Moorestown, N.J., and High Bar Harbor


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