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Pallone Marks Progress in Fight to Block Offshore Drilling

July 2, 2019
Press Release
Environmental advocates and tourism leaders joined Pallone to highlight high cost of drilling to New Jersey’s economy and environment

Long Branch, N.J. – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) joined environmental advocates and tourism leaders to mark progress in the fight to block offshore drilling and highlight the high cost to New Jersey’s economy and environment should the Trump Administration proceed with drilling. In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that supports offshore oil and gas drilling along the East Coast. On June 25, Pallone secured House passage of an amendment that prohibits federal spending to advance oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic Ocean.

“It’s good news that my amendment to ban offshore oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic Coast passed the House. It’s now time for the Senate to take up the underlying legislation, because we need to protect our shores from the Trump Administration’s dangerous offshore drilling plans. The coastal communities in my district depend on a healthy ecosystem to thrive, and an oil spill would threaten the economic vitality of the Jersey Shore and communities up and down the Atlantic Coast,” Congressman Pallone said. “I thank the business leaders and environmental advocates for their leadership and help as we continue to fight the Trump Administration’s reckless plans.”  

New Jersey’s coastal communities depend on a healthy and clean ocean ecosystem. 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 New Jersey’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 nation.

“The New Jersey DEP is proud to join Congressman Pallone in his continued defense of one of New Jersey’s most treasured resources,” said New Jersey DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “New Jersey cannot let the federal government rubber stamp fossil fuel extraction that could endanger our precious coastline. Instead, they should follow Governor Murphy’s lead in pursuing a transition to a clean energy future.”

“Congressman Pallone’s amendment that he successfully championed in the House is a critical part of the fight against big oil and will help protect New Jersey’s coastal economy,” said Vicki Clark, who represented the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association, the Business Alliance for the Protection of the Atlantic Coast, and the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce.

“In short order, Congressman Pallone has taken the helm and charted a renewed course for ocean protection by steering a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives to block offshore drilling,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “His amendment would stop drilling not just off the Jersey Shore, but off the entire Atlantic Ocean. The amendment restricts funding for drilling and drilling activities. Most encouraging for the future of the ocean, the amendment passed with a strong bi-partisan majority.”

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 on his amendment is available here.

A copy of the amendment is available here.