On January 4th, 2018 the Trump Administration’s Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced the next phase of President Trump’s New Draft Proposed 5-year, Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The plan includes opening the entire Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida for drilling including all of the Jersey Shore and NY’s South Shore and would allow rigs to come within 3 miles of beaches.
by David Todd McCarty, The Standard
Greed is a powerful thing. It must be, because there is no other explanation for risking the public welfare in return for corporate profits.
It seems unfathomable that in a state that relies so heavily on it’s beaches and fisheries, anyone would contemplate allowing the drilling for oil off the shores of New Jersey, but that’s exactly what the Trump administration is set to do.
Almost 100 million people visit the Jersey Shore every year, creating over $44 billion in revenue, and over 508,000 tourism related jobs. Our commercial and recreational fishing industries also provide a tremendous economic boom, generating nearly $8 billion in revenue.
But here we are. Debating whether or not to allow a multinational corporation come into our state, disrupt our tranquil beach communities with sonic blasts, injure wildlife, and potentially decimate an entire region, all for corporate profits.
Current BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) estimates that the amount of technically recoverable fossil fuels in the region are tiny and scattered throughout the entire Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida. Even if it could be consolidated into one location, the oil would only last the nation approximately 229 days, and natural gas would only last approximately 477 days.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s will be holding Public Meetings across the country which unlike Public Hearings will not allow for spoken public testimony. However, your voice will still be heard through a Citizen Public Hearing hosted by the Anti-O shore Oil Coalition in the Advocacy Room at the Public Meeting.
For more info visit CleanOceanAction.org!
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will be conducting the official Public Meeting which will take place next Wednesday, February 14, 2018 from 3pm-7pm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Hamilton, NJ. However, BOEM’s NJ Public Meeting, will not allow for spoken testimony to be submitted.
In response, a Citizen Hearing will be held concurrently in an adjacent room at the Hilton Garden Inn to empower people to speak out against the plan to Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke. The event will kick-off with a Press Conference held by NJ’s Anti-Offshore Oil Coalition at 2:30pm, followed by the coalition’s Citizen Hearing. Groups will have buttons, stickers, information, fact sheets, banners, props and more. An official legal transcriber will be there to record the testimony.
“The idea that federal agencies would host a poster session like a science fair and hide from public accountability by not providing a public hearing is an insult and is unacceptable. This is why Clean Ocean Action is offering a Citizen Hearing at the same time in an adjacent room at the Hilton Garden Inn,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “People who attend to show their ocean emotion can testify on the record and it will be submitted to Secretary Zinke,” she added.
Public opposition is key to stopping the Trump Administration’s Draft Proposed Plan for offshore drilling which includes 90% of US ocean waters and comes within 3 miles of beaches. Offshore oil and gas development causes substantial environmental impacts that would threaten New Jersey’s marine life. Drilling anywhere in the Atlantic makes the region vulnerable to spills and risks revenue loss from New Jersey’s $44.1 billion dollar tourism industry, most of which is generated at the Jersey Shore.
Drilling is too risky for any coastal town with a tourism economy,” said John Weber, Councilman from Bradley Beach, NJ. “This is why Bradley Beach passed a resolution against offshore oil drilling last month and hundreds of towns from here to Florida have done the same.”
“Three miles off New Jersey’s beautiful beaches is no place for dirty oil rigs. The Trump Administration has blatantly dismissed the voices of the public and countless elected officials who have clearly opposed offshore drilling from day one. We must take the lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon and stop this plan from threatening New Jersey’s fishing industry, coastal tourism economy, and wildlife including vulnerable wildlife species including fish, birds, and marine mammals. We refuse to hand over our shores to dirty oil without a fight. We will remain vigilant, along with partners, to Kill the Drill,” said Samantha Kreisler, Community Outreach Fellow, NY/NJ Baykeeper.
“The dangers of offshore drilling do not end at the coastline. Oil and gas pipelines that transport the extracted fuel to refineries endanger inland ecosystems and communities and the potable aquifers upon which they depend,” said Katherine Smith, Policy Advocate at Pinelands Preservation Alliance.
“Off-shore drilling represents the largest threat to the Jersey Shore and the entire Atlantic seaboard. This is an outrageous proposal by the Trump Administration that will endanger the ecology of our oceans and gamble with the future of our tourism economy,” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey. “To fight climate change, we need to be moving off oil, not doubling down on dirty fossil fuels. We are urging the public to swamp the Department of Interior with opposition.”
“We find this federal proposal to possibly drill off of the Atlantic Ocean redundant, ridiculous, and reckless. To endanger water, marine life and the NJ tourism industry with dangerous and dirty offshore drilling and more fossil fuel infrastructure is not in the public interest. The reality of climate change demands us to move rapidly to a renewable energy infrastructure that has a substantially less impact on Earth, water and all life,” said Sr. Suzanne Golas, csjp, Director, WATERSPIRIT.
“This is a radical plan which threatens our ocean, its wildlife, our communities and their clean water-based economies. This is not the future the public wants for our ocean and coast,” stated Tim Dillingham, Executive Director, American Littoral Society.
“People from all over New Jersey need to show up and tell BOEM we will not tolerate drilling off our coast or any of our coasts. The Trump Administration must pull this rule and stop this dangerous and reckless behavior that can devastate our environment. We have a choice between oils rigs and windmills, we want wind. We have been fighting drilling for 45 years. We have beaten them before and we will beat them again. No spills, kill the drill,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.