9th District Delegation Hails Signing of Law to Prevent Offshore Drilling in State Waters

State Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove of the 9th Legislative District have applauded the signing into law of legislation to prohibit offshore exploration, development and production drilling for oil or natural gas in state waters. The three lawmakers joined as cosponsors of A-839/S-258, which was introduced by the 1st Legislative District delegation.

After Gov. Murphy signed the offshore drilling ban, Connors, Rumpf and Gove noted in a joint statement that “protecting our state’s coastline from the unwanted and potentially harmful practice of offshore drilling is in New Jersey’s best interest, not only from an environmental standpoint but also economically. Even in a time of hyper-partisanship, it’s important to note that the offshore drilling ban was a bipartisan effort across the board, as legislators understood the high stakes for our state.

“The risk was simply too great to take a wait-and-see approach and hope the federal government wouldn’t act on its proposal to allow oil drilling in our state’s waters,” they added.

The Trump administration said early this year that it intends to reverse Obama-era protections and permit drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean, including in a previously blocked area off the Jersey Shore, as well as in the Arctic and Pacific cceans and the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the 9th District legislators, the fact that Florida was exempted by the federal government from its drilling proposal “due to concerns about that state’s tourism industry only further justifies the actions New Jersey was forced to take. New Jersey is now in a far stronger position to protect its coastline with the enactment of the offshore drilling ban.

“Without this law, wildlife habitats, fisheries and environmentally sensitive areas would have been under constant threat. The potential would remain that the state’s economically critical tourism and commercial fisheries industries would be detrimentally impacted by oil rigs off New Jersey’s coast, leading to job losses and lost revenue.”

—J.K.H.

Reposted from The Sandpaper