LETTER – Sierra Club Speaks Out Against Offshore Drilling

ASBURY PARK, NJ- Today the NJ Sierra Club will be holding a press conference with Clean Ocean Action, and other environmental groups to oppose Trump’s offshore drilling proposal.  Trump is proposing to open 90 percent of America’s coastal waters to offshore oil and gas drilling. This would give energy companies access to more than a billion acres off the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts. Under the new plan, the Interior Department would open 25 of 26 regions of the outer continental shelf to drilling. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, released the following statement:

“Donald Trump has sold out our coast to Big Oil and gas companies. This proposed rule opens up almost all areas of our coast for drilling, from the Atlantic to the Arctic while targeting the Jersey Shore. The Administration is more concerned about corporate polluters and pollution than protecting our coast from the devastating impacts of an oil spill. This disastrous and greedy plan will seriously threaten our $38 billion coastal economy, destroy our ecosystem and fisheries, while harming people who live along the coast. Offshore drilling will lead to increased climate impacts, while polluting our air and waterways.

“Not only is he going to open up areas for offshore drilling, he is also eliminating safety rules to protect us from spills. We need to stand up to continue to protect our coasts because one quart oil pollutes a million gallons of water so this is a serious threat. These dangerous and greedy actions will seriously threaten our $38 billion coastal economy, destroy our ecosystem and fisheries, while harming people who live along the coast. These type of seismic testing is not only dangerous on its own, but it will lead to offshore drilling that could threaten our coasts even more.

“New Jersey’s coastal tourism industry supports nearly 500,000 jobs, and one out of every six of the state’s jobs are linked in some form to its shoreline. Visits to the area generate $16.6 billion in wages and add $5.5 billion to the state’s tax coffers. During the summer of 1988 when medical waste washed up onto a 50-mile stretch of New Jersey’s shore, tourism dropped off significantly and the area directly lost at least $1 billion in revenue. An oil spill off the coast of New Jersey could trigger an even more dramatic decline in tourism. What is even worse is that the oil and gas being drilled for could be shipped to Europe or Asia. That means the only oil we will see is the oil that will wash up on our beaches from a spill.

“They are ignoring the wishes of millions of Americans and the plans of the Obama Administration by moving forward with offshore drilling. Instead of offshore drilling, we need safe and renewable energy like wind power. We have fought to protect our coast for 45 years and will fight to protect it for another 45 years. The public needs to come out to the hearings and let them know that we want to kill the drill.  We have a choice between windmills off our coasts and oil rigs. We have to explore new technologies for wind and wave power and remove obstacles that stand in the way of clean energy. We should be focusing on promoting safe and renewable energy like wind power and not opening up the Atlantic to drilling. We have been fighting drilling for 45 years. We have beaten them before and we will beat them again. No spills, kill the drill.”