NJ lawmakers don’t want offshore drilling

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Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told President Obama Wednesday that he shouldn’t allow oil and gas exploration off the Jersey Shore.

“We write to strongly oppose any efforts to expand offshore oil and gas drilling, particularly any such efforts that would threaten New Jersey’s vibrant coastal communities,” the senators wrote in a letter to Obama. “We owe it to future generations to ensure that our pristine natural resources are preserved and protected from the polluting fossil fuel industry.”

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Last month, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management announced that it is seeking comments on the development of the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

Menendez and Booker said they oppose drilling because it benefits oil companies while risking a spill that would devastate the local economy, which relies on beach tourism.

“With the major oil companies continuing to rake in sky-high profits on the backs of consumers, supported by costly subsidies from the American taxpayer, there is simply no need to take further steps to line their pockets,” the letter stated. “While increasing offshore oil and gas drilling is a clear victory for Big Oil, it’s a losing proposition for New Jersey’s economy, our environment, and our way of life.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) also signed the letter.

The lawmakers pointed out that Gulf Coast states are still recovering from the Deepwater Horizon spill, which occurred in 2010.