Two N.J. senators among group requesting offshore drilling ban

Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez are among 14 legislators who have called for President Barack Obama to ban drilling off the Atlantic Coast in any areas that have not already been leased. reports the two New Jersey Democrats signed a letter requesting the ban that was sent to Obama on Thursday along with fellow like-minded senators.

The letter also asked that Obama use his executive power to make the Arctic Ocean off-limits to oil drilling.

The senators say drilling in waters off the East Coast threaten fishing and tourism — key economic drivers for coastal states — because of the risk of a spill.

In New Jersey, the fishing industry adds $7.9 billion a year to the state’s economy while tourism generates $43 billion annually.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.