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Pallone Blasts Reckless Trump Plan to Open up Atlantic to Drilling

January 5, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressmen Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) blasted the Trump Administration for unveiling a reckless plan to open nearly all U.S. waters, including the Atlantic, for offshore drilling. Pallone also called for a lengthy, intensive, and transparent public comment period to give New Jeseryans ample opportunity to have their voices heard on the new plan. He specifically asked that a public hearing be held in New Jersey.

In May, Pallone led a bipartisan group of 66 members of the House of Representatives in sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, opposing any effort to allow oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

"The decision to open up the Atlantic to drilling is proof that this Administration does not care about coastal communities or their economies,” said Pallone. “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, endangering more than half a million jobs and a $44 billion a year coastal economy in New Jersey. Our coastal communities have made it absolutely clear that they do not want drilling in the Atlantic. I will do whatever is necessary to fight the Trump administration and prevent drilling in the Atlantic.”

Rep. Pallone has been a longtime leader in the fight to protect the Atlantic coast, sponsoring legislation to prevent offshore drilling.  Pallone wrote to the Secretary of the Interior in 2010 voicing strong opposition to a plan to enable drilling in the Atlantic.  He did this even before the Deepwater Horizon disaster brought offshore drilling to the forefront of the news.

Pallone was a leader in the fight to remove a dangerous provision from the Obama Administration’s 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program that would have authorized new offshore oil and gas leasing along the southern Atlantic coast.  And in December of 2016, after Pallone led a letter signed by 73 of his colleagues urging a permanent ban to coastal drilling along the Artic and Atlantic coasts, President Obama exercised his authority to do just that – permanently banning offshore drilling in deep water canyons from Virginia to New England, including off the New Jersey coast, and in much of the Arctic Ocean.