Says Drilling Accidents & Oil Spills Would Put Jersey Shore at Risk
A resolution sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) opposing a federal plan to allow offshore drilling for oil and natural gas along the Atlantic Coast was approved by the Senate Environment & Energy Committee.
“The United States has a glut of oil and natural gas that continues to grow without drilling along the Atlantic Coast,” said Bateman, a member of the Environment Committee. “There’s no reason to put the Jersey Shore, our state’s $44 billion tourism economy, and hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk for more oil and gas that we don’t need.”
The United States Department of the Interior announced a Draft Proposed Program for Oil and Gas Drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf on January 4, 2018.
The program proposes to make over 90 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf available for oil and natural and gas drilling, including along the New Jersey coastline. Currently, 94 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf is off limits to drilling.
Bateman’s resolution, SR-29, highlights the potential damage an oil spill would have on our beaches, fisheries, marine life, and businesses all along the coast of New Jersey.
“When the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, millions of gallons of oil spilled and washed up on Gulf Coast beaches,” said Bateman. “After the hit we took from Sandy, a lot of families wouldn’t survive a major oil spill like that at the Jersey Shore. It’s not worth the risk.”
After years of decline, the nation’s oil output is surging and on pace to break production records set in 1970 of more than 10 million barrels per day. Similarly, natural gas production is at record levels.
“While I support other approaches to energy that would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, it’s a fact that other states allow fracking and have produced record levels of oil and gas,” added Bateman. “They’ve made their own judgments of risk versus reward associated with fracking on their lands, but New Jersey hasn’t been given that choice when it comes to drilling in our waters. This resolution is the New Jersey Legislature’s way of saying ‘NO’ to a reckless federal plan for offshore drilling that we don’t need and don’t want.”
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