Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, March 2006

An Addiction to Oil…Drilling

     The US Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) released for public comment a draft “Five-Year OCS Leasing Program” to lease offshore areas for oil and gas drilling activities on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).  The draft proposal for 2007-2012 includes opening the waters off Virginia and other offshore areas currently protected to drilling.

     Since 1982, US Presidents and Congress have supported a moratorium on exploration and drilling in sensitive areas.  All but one US Representative from New Jersey, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5), have consistently voted against offshore oil and gas drilling.  Recently, Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill to block drilling off the mid and North Atlantic coasts.  Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-2), Jim Saxton (R-3), and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-6) have introduced and supported similar bills in Congress. 

     COA urges organizations and citizens to submit comments to MMS and object to the opening of offshore areas to oil and gas drilling.  If approved, this 5-year plan will unravel the protections that have been in place in these areas for over two decades.  In addition, drilling off Virginia less than 100 miles from the Jersey Shore, threatens marine resources and the $22 billion tourism industry in New Jersey.

     The draft MMS document is posted at  Comments are due by April 11 and can be submitted online or to: Renee Orr, 5-Years Program Manager, Minerals Management Service (MS-4010), Room 3120, 381 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170.


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

Candid/Guidestar "Essential nonprofit data, tools, and resources"

Charity Navigator, "Your Guide to Intelligent Giving"