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Our Coast at Risk from Drilling

Date : Wed, 28 Mar 2012 15:54:31 -0400

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

* *

*Our Coast at Risk from Drilling*

The Obama Administration has released today a draft plan on oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. This comes a day after the Obama administration announced their proposed rule to control carbon emissions from new power plants. This draft plan would allow for seismic testing in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean to evaluate oil, gas, and other resources. New Jersey Sierra Club’s main concern is that they would not be releasing a proposed seismic testing plan if they were not going to drill. Drilling off our coast will not alleviate the price at the pump, instead it would put our coast, tourism, and economy at risk.

“This plan is a threat to our coast and will allow for oil drilling after the 5 year moratorium is up. We are concerned that you wouldn’t be exploring for oil unless you plan on drilling for oil. This plan takes us one step closer from having drilling off our coast and putting our beaches at risk for an oil spill,” *said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.* “Yesterday the Administration came out to regulate greenhouse gases now they want to promote having more greenhouse gases coming from off shore oil effecting our environment and our coastline.”

Seismic testing alone posses many issues showing to disrupt many marine animals especially whales and dolphins. It has also been seen to cause commercial fishing catch rates to decrease dramatically. This draft plan for seismic testing is nothing more than a gateway to drilling. *The Department of Interior will be having a hearing where the public will be able to comment on this plan on April 27th in Atlantic City. *Even though this plan also includes renewable energy it is primarily about oil and gas. Opening up the Atlantic Coast to oil exploration could make offshore drilling off our coast a reality. This is not the first time our coast has been threatened by drilling. This summer two bills were introduced that would fast track offshore drilling. Drilling off the coast of Virginia less than 100 miles from New Jersey’s coasts will pose a threat to New Jersey because Shell Oil Company has said it plans to run a pipeline through our state's waters. There was even a bill will directly threaten New Jersey’s coast by opening up virtually every coast to offshore drilling.

“One of the biggest threats to our coast is Congress with the Spill Baby Spill crowd in control. We have to keep fighting to make sure we protect our coast because a spill could have devastating affects to our beaches and coastal tourism industry,” *said Tittel. “*We are also concerned that the same studies can be used to find places for carbon sequestration or so called “clean coal” causing other environment problems.”

This will put New Jersey at risk for a potential oil spill off of our coast. Since they have not strengthened the regulations for off shore drilling the likelihood of a disaster off our coast is very real. If there is drilling of the mid Atlantic they would bring the oil to New Jersey Refineries through pipelines putting us at risk for a potential disaster. An oil spill would not only affect our beaches and tourism, but our fisheries as well. New Jersey has a multi-billion dollar fishing industry in Cape May in particular, which would the area that would be most at risk.

“It is still easier to put oil rigs off our coast than windmills. The only oil we want to see on our beaches in sun tan oil. Our oceans are too valuable to put at risk and we must protect it for future generations to enjoy,” *Tittel said.*

One quart of oil pollutes a million gallons of water. We cannot trust big oil with our energy future. Even if the odds were one in a million, it’s not worth the risk to our economy and to our environment. We cannot drill ourselves into energy independence. We have to explore new technologies for wind and wave power and remove obstacles that stand in the way of clean energy.

“This plan makes the moratorium meaningless because it would take five years to do the studies anyway. The Obama administration patted themselves on the back for putting in place the moratorium that pat now rings hallow. The administration is being fossil foolish by putting our beaches at risk,” *Jeff stated.*

Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
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