Today (2/7/18), a coalition of NJ’s leading environmental, business, and public interest organizations, elected officials, concerned citizens and local businesses, held a Press Conference at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park to urge citizens to speak out at New Jersey’s only official public meeting on President Trump’s new 5-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
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, Surfrider Mid-Atlantic Regional Director. “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.
New Jersey’s Only Offshore Oil Federal Meeting
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 2:30pm-7pm
Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton, NJ
Participating Anti-Offshore Oil Coalition Organizations: Clean Ocean Action, American Littoral Society, NY NJ Baykeeper, Surfrider Jersey Shore, Surfrider South Jersey, Surfrider Mid-Atlantic, WaterSpirit, ANJEC, Blue Wave NJ, Food and Water Watch, League of Women Voters of NJ, NJ Conservation Foundation, Bus for Progress, Clean Water Action, Jersey Shore Partnership, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Raritan Riverkeeper, MottMcDonald Engineers, National Parks Conservation Association, Alaska Wilderness Leauge, Cape May Chamber of Commerce, Hackensack Riverkeeper, Sierra Club of New Jersey, Alliance for a Living Ocean, Bayshore Regional Watershed Council. Citizens Climate Lobby, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Edison Wetlands Association, Garden Club of LBI, Garden State Seafood Association, New Jersey Audubon Society, Save Barnegat Bay, Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, Gotham Whale