Christie denounces oil, gas drilling off N.J. coast

AP photo.

AP photo.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has reaffirmed his opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal for drilling off the New Jersey coastline.

The five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program would allow drilling and oil and gas rings within 90 percent of the outer continental shelf off the United States.

And that, says, Christie cannot happen off New Jersey.

“For eight years, the Governor has been steadfastly opposed to drilling off the New Jersey coast. He remains so today,” his spokesman, Brian Murray, said in a prepared statement.

Christie is seeking the same exception Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke granted Florida, prohibiting drilling off the state in the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Gulf of Mexico.

“If exceptions are being made for other states, the Governor will certainly pursue the same type of exception for New Jersey,” Murray said. “He also will consult with the Attorney General on additional steps to continue his policy of protecting New Jersey’s coastline.”

Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action, has called the plan “reckless and offensive.”

“It will be met with the united forces of citizens, businesses, fishermen, boaters, divers, surfers, tourists, swimmers, and their elected leaders who depend upon a clean ocean,” she said.

But President Donald Trump has previously said the plan “allows responsible development of offshore areas that will bring revenue to our treasury and jobs to our workers.”

Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, an industry trade group, told NJ Spotlight last year that restricting drilling would impact “the poor and middle class, who would benefit most from greater access to affordable, reliable energy.”

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