TRENTON: Coastal legislators Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are hailing the signing into law of legislation A-839/S-258, which will prohibit offshore exploration, development and production drilling for oil or natural gas in State waters, State tidal waters and submerged lands in State waters.
Senator Connors, Assemblyman Rumpf and Assemblywoman Gove all joined as cosponsors of A-839/S-258 which was introduced by the First Legislative District delegation.
Connors, Rumpf and Gove offered the following remarks in response to Governor Murphy’s signing of the offshore drilling ban:
“Protecting our state’s coastline from the unwanted and potentially harmful practice of offshore drilling is in New Jersey’s best interest not only from an environmental standpoint but also economically. Even in a time of hyper-partisanship, it’s important to note that the offshore drilling ban was a bipartisan effort across the board as Legislators understood the high stakes for our state.
“The risk was simply too great to take a wait-and-see approach and hope the federal government wouldn’t act on its proposal to allow oil drilling off our state’s waters.
“Without this law, wildlife habitats, fisheries and environmentally sensitive areas would have been under constant threat. The potential would remain that the state’s economically critical tourism and commercial fisheries industries would be detrimentally impacted by oil rigs off New Jersey’s coast, leading to job losses and lost revenue.
“The fact that Florida was given an exemption by the federal government due to concerns about that state’s tourism industry only further justifies the actions New Jersey was forced to take. New Jersey is now in a far stronger position to protect its coastline with the enactment of the offshore drilling ban.”