Menendez Calls on Zinke to ‘Kill the Drill’ off Jersey Shore After Zinke Protects Fla. from Offshore Drilling

Menendez Calls on Zinke to ‘Kill the Drill’ off Jersey Shore After Zinke Protects Fla. from Offshore Drilling

   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today urged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to remove New Jersey from consideration for expanding offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic after Secretary Zinke’s sudden announcement yesterday that the Administration will no longer allow drilling off the Florida coasts.  The Secretary cited Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s arguments that Florida should be exempted from offshore drilling because their coasts are “heavily reliant on tourism.” Sen. Menendez has consistently made protecting Jersey Shore tourism and fishing industries central to his argument for why New Jersey should also be exempted.

“Mr. Secretary, it’s Jersey calling,” Sen. Menendez wrote on Facebook. “We have a booming shore economy, nearly $800B in coastal property values, over 100 miles of pristine beaches, too. Lives and livelihoods of millions of people depend on the Jersey Shore. How loud do we have to shout for you to hear us, too? (Will having THREE Trump golf courses help?)”

Menendez reiterated that message on Twitter:

 

Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez)

1/10/18, 10:17 AM

Mr. Secretary, it’s New Jersey calling, from the shore. What about our local voices? Not just Democrats like myself @CoryBooker, or @FrankPallone, but NJ Republicans like @RepLoBiondo want to #KillTheDrill too. Will New Jersey’s Republican local voices matter? #ProtectOurCoast twitter.com/SecretaryZinke…

 

Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez)

1/10/18, 11:02 AM

You’re right Mr. Secretary. It's dangerous to our coastal communities & economy to let big oil drill off our shores. That’s why we’ve been fighting to #KillTheDrill for years. So how about taking NJ off the table? (Will having THREE Trump golf courses help?) #ProtectOurCoast twitter.com/NBCNews/status…

The Jersey Shore is home to nearly $800 billion in coastal properties and a tourism industry that generates $44 billion a year and supports over half a million direct and indirect jobs, or nearly ten percent of the state’s entire workforce.  New Jersey’s vibrant commercial fishing industry generates over $7.9 billion annually and supports over 50,000 jobs.  The state has one of the largest saltwater recreational fishing industries in the nation.  All of these are threatened by offshore drilling.

Last week, Sen. Menendez joined Rep. Frank Pallone and Gov.-elect Phil Murphy to express their concerns, especially given Trump Administration efforts to roll back established offshore drilling safety standards put in place after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, including the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s well control rule, which updated requirements for offshore drilling equipment in an attempt to prevent another catastrophic oil spill.

The economic and environmental devastation caused by the Deepwater Horizon tragedy far exceeded what many believed would be the worst-case scenario for an offshore oil accident.  More than seven years later, the Gulf Coast still hasn’t fully recovered from its catastrophic impact. At a time when New Jerseyans are continuing to rebuild their lives after Superstorm Sandy, the last thing they need is the prospect of a manmade disaster from an oil spill. 

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