NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. applauded the House passage of appropriations funding on Tuesday that includes his amendment to block offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.
In 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed toward allowing offshore oil and gas drilling along the East Coast. Pallone’s amendment included in the underlying legislation would prohibit federal spending to advance oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic Ocean.
“I applaud House passage of my bipartisan amendment so that no taxpayer money is used to drill off our shore. In the past, bans on offshore drilling have received broad bipartisan support, and it’s time to return to that precedent,” Pallone (NJ-6) said. “The coastal communities in my district depend on a healthy ecosystem to thrive. An oil spill would threaten the economic vitality of the Jersey Shore and communities up and down the Atlantic Coast. We need to protect our shores from the Trump Administration’s dangerous offshore drilling plans.”
An oil spill in the Atlantic would devastate coastal communities and wildlife. In New Jersey, the tourism industry generates $44 billion a year and supports over half a million jobs. The Jersey Shore is home to over $700 billion in coastal properties, and the tourism industry generates almost half a million jobs - nearly ten percent of the state’s entire workforce. New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry generates over $7.9 billion annually supporting over 50,000 jobs and also has one of the largest saltwater recreational fishing industries in the United States.
Pallone, who has an office in New Brunswick, is a longtime advocate of an offshore oil and gas drilling ban. In January, he introduced the COAST Anti-Drilling Act that would ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic. In April, he wrote to Secretary David Bernhardt at the Department of Interior to ask him to permanently abandon plans to conduct offshore oil and gas exploration.
Last week, Pallone spoke on the House Floor in favor of his amendment. Video of his remarks is available here.
A copy of the amendment is available here.