New Jersey Senators Help Defeat Plan For Drilling Less Than 100 Miles From Jersey Shore

New Jersey Senators Help Defeat Plan For Drilling Less Than 100 Miles From Jersey Shore

Defeat of amendment is environmental, economic victory for NJ

Washington - Today, during the Senate debate on the nation's budget, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) helped beat back a threat to the environment and economy of the Jersey Shore. The New Jersey Senators helped lead the effort to defeat an amendment offered by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) that would have paved the way for drilling off the coast of Virginia, which includes areas less than 100 miles from the Jersey Shore - close enough for spills to affect New Jersey beaches.

"The environment and economy of the Jersey Shore would have been directly threatened by this plan, so we stood up against it," said Senator Menendez. "It was a reckless plan to feed our nation's addiction to oil that posed not only short-term threats but also could have led us down a slippery slope that ends in drilling up and down the east coast. This problem arises because we are relying exclusively on oil. Instead, we need to become a more energy efficient nation and we need to develop alternative fuels. This was an important victory for New Jersey in the Senate today."

"Drilling so close to the New Jersey shoreline is no solution to our nation's energy crisis. Oil drilling would threaten the natural beauty and health of our shores and wildlife, as well as the millions of people who live and work nearby. We need to put New Jersey ahead of the interests of Big Oil," said Senator Lautenberg.

"Senators Menendez and Lautenberg have again shown great leadership in protecting our shores from the devastating impacts of oil exploration along our coasts," said Athan Manuel, the Sierra Club's Director of Lands Protection. "Whether one is talking about wildlife or vacationers, beaches and oil simply do not mix."

Senators Menendez and Lautenberg helped lead the effort to persuade colleagues to oppose the Alexander amendment and organized a group of major environmental groups to work against it. The amendment was defeated by a 47-51 vote.