Public comment ends Thursday on Trump plan to expand deep sea drilling

 (Planning map of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

(Planning map of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Thursday is the last day to submit public comment on President Trump’s America-First Energy Strategy to allow oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. The New Jersey region has been off limits to drilling and there’s an effort to keep it that way.

Trump administration officials say opening up new areas for drilling will help the nation achieve energy dominance.

Cindy Zipf leads the marine-advocacy group Clean Ocean Action. She said opponents believe it would be harmful.

“When they go out and they start poking holes to figure out where the oil is, all that drilling is very polluting. It contaminates the ocean. It contaminates the water in and around the drilling areas, which spread. Then of course once production starts, you have the possibility of a spill.”

Senator Bob Smith chairs the state Senate’s Environment Committee.

“If in fact the President is about the reopen everything on coastal drilling off the coast of New Jersey, don’t be surprised in the fall that we have the legislature express its opposition to that. There’s nobody in New Jersey that’s for that.”

Governor Christie and most members of the state’s Congressional delegation have opposed drilling off the coast, concerned that it could risk harming the state’s multi-billion-dollar tourism and fishing industries.

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