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Pallone, Menendez and Booker Discuss Serious Concerns over Trump Environmental Agenda and Call for Continued Action on Climate Change

November 22, 2016
Press Release

Long Branch, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06),U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, and a number of New Jersey environmental leaders today voiced concerns over President-elect Trump’s proposed environmental agenda, which includes withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, elimination of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, cutbacks at the Environmental Protection Agency, and expanded offshore drilling.   The lawmakers again called on President Obama to use his authority to permanently ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean before leaving office.

“The United States took an important leadership role in making the Paris Agreement happen and should continue to lead international efforts to combat climate change,” said Pallone. “The Clean Power Plan is an essential part of the U.S. keeping its end of the bargain. If the President-elect’s Administration follows through on its plans to abandon our commitments, New Jersey, the United States and the world will continue to suffer from increasing sea level rise, more frequent and intense natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy, and longer periods of drought, as well as other effects. The Trump team’s proposed weakening of the EPA’s ability to protect our communities, doubling down on dirty fossil fuels and pipelines, and allowing offshore drilling would take our country in the wrong direction.  We cannot move backwards on climate change, slow the development of clean energy, or and allow drilling off New Jersey’s coast.”

Sen. Menendez again underscored his call for President Obama to use his authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, saying “We must do everything in our power to stand up to the oil industry, protect our coastal communities, and fight for the people whose lives depend on a vibrant shore economy.  A permanent ban on Atlantic drilling would be a lasting message for generations to come—that we’re not willing to sell out the future of their economy or their environment for short-term profits.”  Last week, Menendez spoke out on the Senate floor and wrote an op-ed that appeared Sunday in the Star-Ledger.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical that we are vigilant in standing up to the incoming Administration’s efforts to roll back environmental protections that could jeopardize the health of our planet, diminish the quality of the air our children breathe, and open up our coastlines to irreparable damage,” said Sen. Booker.  “Instead of relying on fossil fuels that put New Jersey’s environment, our economy and our health at risk, we should be focusing our efforts on innovative ways to generate carbon free energy.”

Last Friday, the Department of the Interior unveiled its final 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The final plan does not include a dangerous provision from the Draft Proposed Plan that would have authorized new offshore oil and gas leasing along the southern Atlantic coast. The lawmakers worked relentlessly to remove the Atlantic from the proposal, sending two letters to the Department of the Interior raising concerns about the risks posed by offshore drilling to New Jersey and communities throughout the Atlantic coast.  Pallone – along with Senators Menendez and Booker – joined concerned residents of New Jersey fighting to #KillTheDrill, and spoke directly with senior Administration officials to reiterate the need to prevent Atlantic drilling. 

Representatives from numerous environmental groups attended including Clean Water Action, Sierra Club, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Edison Wetlands Association, Environment New Jersey, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, American Littoral Society, NJ League of Conservation Voters, Clean Ocean Action, and Jersey Coast Anglers Association.