Washington - The Obama administration today announced that coastal drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean and eastern Gulf of Mexico will not be included in the next five-year drilling plan. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and author of previous legislation to permanently ban Atlantic Coast drilling, released the following statement:

"I am grateful that the Administration has heard my message loud and clear: no drilling for oil anywhere near the Jersey Shore. I applaud this action, which will protect our state's economy and environment. The Jersey Shore supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, drives our state's economy and is a birthright for all New Jerseyans. We can never allow an oil spill to ruin our shore and cripple our local economy. Auctioning off the Jersey Shore to oil companies would do nothing to reduce prices at the pump, but it would put our multi-billion dollar tourism and fishing industries at risk. Today, families and business owners in our coastal communities, along with everyone who loves the Jersey Shore, can breathe a little easier that we won't have to contend with devastation from an oil rig disaster any time soon."