As McCain Appears In NJ, Menendez Challenges Him To Denounce Drilling Near The Jersey Shore

As McCain Appears In NJ, Menendez Challenges Him To Denounce Drilling Near The Jersey Shore

Menendez has led efforts in the Senate to defeat plans that would open up drilling less than 100 miles from New Jersey

Washington - Today, U.S. Senator John McCain will be in New Jersey for a press conference on the topic of the environment. While he is in the state, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is challenging him to denounce a plan that would open up drilling for oil and natural gas less than 100 miles from the Jersey Shore.

Twice over the past year, Senator Menendez has led efforts in the Senate to defeat plans to drill off the coast of Virginia, which includes areas near New Jersey and could lead to drilling up and down the East Coast. Such a plan is up for a vote again next week in the Senate in the form of a Republican amendment to the Flood Insurance Bill. Senator Menendez released the following statement today:

"John McCain likes to talk about protecting our fragile planet, but just this week he spoke out in favor of offshore drilling. If he's going to use our state as a stage to discuss the environment, he better be ready to tell us how he feels about the proposals that would lead to drilling less than 100 miles from the Jersey Shore. I challenge him to denounce these plans, which would directly threaten the environment and economy of our state and would start us down a slippery slope that could lead to drilling all along the East Coast. I also challenge him to not duck the next vote on the offshore drilling plan, which we are expecting in the Senate on Tuesday. Today's incredibly high gas prices and planetary emergency are a reminder that we need a policy that doesn't drill us into a deeper hole but that cuts our addiction to oil, increases energy efficiency, relies on alternative energy sources and keeps our planet intact."

Senator Menendez has introduced the COAST Act to permanently ban drilling off the mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic coasts (http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=268012). In the past year, he has twice led efforts to defeat plans that would lead to drilling less than 100 miles off the Jersey Shore (http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=277038 and http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=294803).

###