***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez, Booker Rally NJans against Offshore Drilling ahead of Trenton Public Info Session

***VIDEO RELEASE*** Menendez, Booker Rally NJans against Offshore Drilling ahead of Trenton Public Info Session

   WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today helped rally more than 200 New Jerseyans in opposition to the Trump Administration’s plan to allow offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic, threatening the Jersey Shore economy and environment.  They joined via videochat a demonstration led by Clean Ocean Action outside a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) information session in Hamilton Twp., N.J. 







Echoing the public outcry over BOEM’s cynical decision to hold an information session for residents far from the Jersey Shore and on both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday when few could participate, the senators renewed their invitation to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to meet with constituents and business leaders who would be affected by Atlantic Ocean drilling and oil and gas exploration, and to hold a real public hearing at the Shore.  Secretary Zinke recently announced the offshore drilling plan will not include drilling off the coast of Florida, which came as a result of Secretary Zinke’s personal meeting with Governor Rick Scott.

New Jersey’s coastal communities rely on a bustling tourism industry, which generates over $44 billion in economic activity and supports over 500,000 jobs—nearly ten percent of the state’s workforce.  New Jersey also has a prosperous commercial fishing industry, which generates over $7.9 billion annually, and the state boasts one of the largest saltwater recreational fishing industries in the nation. The state’s commercial and recreational fishing industries support nearly 50,000 jobs.

Last month, Sens. Menendez and Booker joined a group of Senate colleagues from coast-to-coast in condemning the Trump Administration’s offshore drilling plan. Both senators, along with Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06), sent a letter urging Secretary Zinke to reject BOEM’s plan to open the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas exploration, which threatens the health of Jersey Shore beaches and its thriving economy. 

Sens. Menendez and Booker and Rep. Pallone led the charge in 2015 to remove the Atlantic Ocean from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program (Five-Year Plan).

The New Jersey lawmakers also successfully convinced President Obama before leaving office to permanently ban oil and gas exploration in areas of the Atlantic Ocean by exercising the authority granted to him by Congress under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).