Washington, D.C. –Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement today after reports that the Trump administration is planning an executive order seeking an expansion of drilling off the U.S. coastline.

“The Trump administration’s reported plans to expand offshore drilling is just the latest development in its dangerous and reckless anti-environment agenda that threatens the future of our environment and New Jersey’s coast.

“Oil spills don’t respect state borders.  The fact remains that opening up the Atlantic Ocean for fossil fuel development is unnecessary, poses a serious threat to our coastal communities, and is the wrong approach.  An oil spill anywhere along the Atlantic Coast would cause severe environmental damage to fisheries, popular beaches and wildlife – which is why members of both parties have stood up against proposals to expand coastal drilling.”

Rep. Pallone has been a longtime leader in the fight to protect the Atlantic coast, sponsoring legislation since 2010 to prevent expansions of offshore drilling.  Pallone wrote to the Secretary of the Interior in 2010 voicing strong opposition to a plan to enable drilling in the Atlantic.  He did this even before the Deepwater Horizon disaster brought offshore drilling to the forefront of the news.

Pallone was a leader in the fight to remove a dangerous provision from the Obama Administration’s 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program that would have authorized new offshore oil and gas leasing along the southern Atlantic coast.  And in December, after Pallone led a letter signed by 73 of his colleagues urging a permanent ban to coastal drilling along the Artic and Atlantic coasts, President Obama exercised his authority to do just that – permanently banning offshore drilling in deep water canyons from Virginia to New England, including off the New Jersey coast, and in much of the Arctic Ocean.