Menendez, Booker, Pallone Urge Residents, Business Owners to Have Their Voices Heard
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.-06) today urged New Jersey residents, business owners, fishermen and community leaders to attend a public meeting on March 18 in Atlantic City to have their views heard regarding a proposal by the Obama Administration to open parts of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore oil and gas drilling. Menendez, Booker and Pallone have expressed to the Administration their deep concern with any drilling in the Atlantic and asked for a public comment meeting to be held in the state.
“I have made clear to the Administration that I believe the Atlantic Coast should be off limits to oil and gas drilling because the consequences to our environment and our economy of a spill would be devastating,” said Sen Menendez. “I strongly urge New Jerseyans who would be most impacted by this decision to take advantage of this opportunity to have their voices heard on this incredibly important issue.”
“Off shore drilling in the Atlantic is of great concern to me, but I’m pleased that the Administration has heeded our call to give New Jersey residents the opportunity to voice their concerns,” said Sen. Booker. “I’m hopeful that citizens from across New Jersey will attend and voice their opposition based on the potential negative impacts this proposal could have on New Jersey.”
“Oil drilling in the Atlantic would put New Jersey’s shore communities and our state’s economy at significant risk,”said Congressman Pallone. “Residents and business owners who will be most seriously impacted must make sure that their voices are heard loud and clear on an issue that is so critical to the Jersey Shore and our state as a whole.”
The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 18 from 3pm to 7pm, at the Sheraton Atlantic City. Individuals who would like to RSVP or need directions should click here. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the meeting will be conducted in an “open house” format with informational stations where participants can speak to BOEM staff and learn more about the proposed leasing activities. Participants can arrive at any time and may submit written or electronic comments.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting can also submit comments through www.boemoceaninfo.com (connects to Regulations.gov) and the deadline for providing comments is March 30, 2015.
Menendez, Booker and Pallone have been strong advocates for better environmental protection and increased transparency in the five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program plan, criticizing closed-door meetings without advocates for the protection of shore economies and clean water. In a July 2014 letter to President Obama, they urged his administration to keep the Atlantic Coast off limits for oil and gas exploration, stressing that the environmental and economic consequences of an oil spill near the Jersey Shore would be catastrophic