Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, December 2005


NJ Congressmen Had Key Role in Protecting the Coast

     Following a contentious battle late in the evening on November 9, provisions in a budget reconciliation bill (HR 4241) that would have opened the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts to oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) were removed.  Several of New Jersey’s Congressmen played a pivotal role in removing language that posed a threat to ocean waters.  COA commends those elected officials for voting to protect the nation’s shorelines.  While this is not a permanent victory, offshore oil and gas drilling is off the table for now.

     As written, the OCS provisions in the bill would have eliminated over two decades of moratoria protecting the ocean from oil and gas drilling.  Specifically, the language would have given states the option to drill off their coasts and would have received 50% of the revenues generated.  A key issue was that since states share ocean waters, those that chose to drill would have subjected neighboring states to potential pollution and devastating consequences.

     COA salutes the numerous citizens and organizations and state elected officials who quickly rallied for the ocean and urged their members of Congress to vote against opening sensitive coastal areas to oil and gas drilling.  This is an example of how citizens can directly affect what happens in Washington. 

     Congratulations on this short victory, and stay tuned to this ongoing battle to protect the Jersey shore, and the nation’s coasts, from offshore oil & gas activities.  Unfortunately, efforts are already underway to re-introduce these threatening provisions.


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