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Pallone Champions Bipartisan Amendment to Stop Reckless Offshore Drilling Plans in the Atlantic

June 20, 2019
Press Release
Amendment Adopted with Broad, Bipartisan Support

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) spoke on the House Floor in support of his amendment to stop the Trump Administration’s dangerous plans to drill off the Atlantic Coast. In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order aimed toward allowing offshore oil and gas drilling along the East Coast. Pallone’s amendment would prohibit federal spending to advance oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic and was adopted on the House Floor. A vote on the underlying legislation is expected next week.

“Healthy ocean ecosystems along the East Coast support billions in gross domestic product and more than a million jobs through fishing, recreation and tourism alone. In my home state of New Jersey, the tourism industry generates $44 billion a year and supports over half a million jobs. But this will no longer be the case if the beautiful beaches of the Jersey Shore are slicked with oil,” Congressman Pallone said. “The only way to protect ourselves is a full Atlantic moratorium and a commonsense return to historic bipartisan precedent.”

Oil spills have the potential to cause enormous economic and environmental damage. In 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster caused a ten-year projected economic loss of $8.7 billion in fisheries from Texas to Florida, including 22,000 lost jobs. The Jersey Shore is home to over $700 billion in coastal properties, and the tourism industry generates almost half a million jobs - nearly ten percent of the state’s entire workforce. New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry generates over $7.9 billion annually supporting over 50,000 jobs. New Jersey also has one of the largest saltwater recreational fishing industries in the United States.

Pallone has served as a longtime champion of offshore drilling bans. In January, he introduced the COAST Anti-Drilling Act that would ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic. In April, he wrote to Secretary David Bernhardt at the Department of Interior to ask him to permanently abandon plans to conduct offshore oil and gas exploration.

Video of Congressman Pallone’s remarks is available here.

A copy of the amendment is available here.