Ensures Healthy Sea and Economy for Future Generations

Public Hearings NOT POSTPONED

February 7, 2011---Today is a great day for the ocean.  As promised, Governor Christie vetoed the ill-fated, ill-advised, ill-conceived Liberty Natural Gas project that sought to industrialize the ocean by constructing an import facility for foreign liquefied natural gas.

The Governor made good on a promise he made during his campaign and affirmed at his first Earth Day message last year. Promising to defend the ocean from any harmful industrialization, the Governor vowed to reject any liquefied natural gas terminal and offshore oil and gas drilling operations.

“This is a clear victory for the ocean,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action.  “It is our most treasured natural resource and it will now be free from harmful industrialization.”

“The ocean is the backbone our state’s economy, it sustains and supports a multi-billion dollar tourism industry, provides endless hours of enjoyment on the beach and in the sea, and hosts rich diversity of marine life.  If we abuse it and put it in harms way our economy and way of life will diminish and ultimately collapse.”

Governor Christie recognizes this connection to the sea, and has spent his first year putting actions into place that will help restore and improve the marine environment.  Governor Christie’s decision today is decisive, sending a clear message to those that seek to do harm to ocean and threaten our state’s jobs and economy, you are not welcome here.

"The Governor’s veto today keeps New Jersey's eye on the prize -- environmentally and economically, we need to be developing clean renewable energy and becoming more energy efficient instead of relying on dirty and dangerous options like liquid natural gas on the Jersey Shore,"  said Dave Pringle, Director of the New Jersey Environmental Federation.

This victory was a hard win, a battle that lasted nearly four years, and was supported by the tireless efforts of thousands of citizens, over 80 organizations, 24 towns, and elected leaders from across the state.  It proves once again, that people power works.

The next step, now that this latest battle is over, is to call upon our federal officials to step up and act to permanently protect our waters.  They must pass federal legislation permanently protect our ocean waters off the New Jersey and New York coast from these and other types of harmful activities by making it a Clean Ocean Zone.

Offshore Liquified Natural Gas Project Background: Three liquefied natural gas import facilities were pending off the Jersey Shore: Liberty Natural Gas, four snake-like buoy/turret moorings off Asbury Park; Atlantic Sea Island Group, which proposed to build an island in the ocean off Sea Bright, NJ; and ExxonMobile’s BlueOcean Energy project which was planning to install an experimental massive storage facility off Sea Girt.  Following the Governors announcement, and changes to the global LNG market, the latter two companies withdrew their plans last year.  Only Liberty Natural Gas proceeded, taunting the Governor’s promise of a veto.