With the Fourth of July fast approaching, a pair of federal lawmakers used the Jersey Shore on Tuesday as their backdrop to renew their rant against offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.
Citing the economic devastation an oil spill would have on New Jersey's tourism industry, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) discussed recently proposed legislation banning drilling in the Atlantic outright.
They said that although there is still a chance this region will be removed from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's proposed draft plan for offshore oil and gas leases, the bill introduced in April, called the Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act, would be an added safety measure at ensuring no drilling.
"We're here because we refuse to put New Jersey's coastline at risk," Menendez said at a press conference on the boardwalk in Belmar. "We refuse to jeopardize the economic benefits of our coastal economy. We refuse to endanger the enjoyment of recreational fishermen or the livelihood of our commercial fishermen."