Pallone Secures Offshore Drilling Ban in Appropriations Proposal
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced that the House Democrats’ appropriations bill for fiscal year 2021 would ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. In May, Pallone sent a letter requesting the drilling ban be included in the proposal, which is expected to be considered by the House of Representatives later this month.
“The inclusion of this language makes it clear that House Democrats are committed to standing up to the Trump Administration’s efforts to put our beautiful coastlines at risk in exchange for a big pay day for oil and gas executives. This bill would ensure that no taxpayer money is used to develop fossil fuels off our shores. In the past, bans on offshore drilling have received bipartisan support, and I invite my Republican colleagues to join us as we work together to protect the beauty and health of our coastlines for generations to come,” Congressman Pallone said. “The coastal communities in my district depend on a healthy ecosystem to thrive. An oil spill would threaten the economic vitality of the Jersey shoreline and communities up and down the Atlantic Coast. There’s no question we need protect our shores from the Trump Administration’s dangerous offshore drilling plans.”
In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order aimed toward allowing offshore oil and gas drilling along the East Coast. The Pallone provisions prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from conducting or authorizing oil and gas leasing and related activities along the Pacific coast, Atlantic coast, Florida’s coast, and in the Arctic Ocean.
An oil spill along the Atlantic Coast would devastate communities and wildlife habitats. In New Jersey, the tourism industry generates $44 billion a year and supports over half a million 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 advocate of an offshore drilling ban. In January 2019, he introduced the COAST Anti-Drilling Act that would ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic. In April 2019, 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. Last July, he was joined by environmental advocates and tourism leaders in Long Branch to applaud progress in the fight to ban offshore oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic Coast.