NJ Senators Lead Efforts to Block Seismic Testing Off Our Coast

Balic of Clinton Banner

Senator Cory Booker, Senator Robert Menendez, lead all 12 members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter opposing 5 permit applications for seismic activity in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean.  The first letter is signed by our Senators and their Democratic colleagues in the Senate requesting an extension to the public comment period. The second letter is from the entire New Jersey delegation requesting the permits be denied as well as a request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide more opportunity for public input. Seismic airgun blasts can be incredibly harmful to marine life and is often the first step toward drilling offshore. It is important that our members of Congress are standing up to the Trump Administration’s plans for seismic testing, which will lead to offshore drilling. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club released the following statement:

 Reiner Logo

“It is important that the entire New Jersey delegation is sending a clear message to Donald Trump to block seismic testing. They are asking NOAA to reject the permits for seismic testing to protect our coasts and marine life. Seismic testing harasses animals with loud blasts that are harmful to marine life and our fisheries. It is especially dangerous to large marine animals like dolphins, whales, sea turtles, but the soundwave blasts can also devastate fish eggs and larvae. Our representatives are all concerned about these impacts because ultimately testing can cause severe damage for marine life and can even lead to mass strandings and possibly death. We thank our representatives for standing up these dangerous practices that will harm our marine life, fisheries, and ecosystems.”

“The letter from Congress is a good bi-partisan effort that opposes seismic testing. We have heard Senator Booker, Senator Menendez, Congressman Pallone, Congresswoman Watson Coleman, Congressman Sires, Congressman Payne, Congressman Gottheimer, Congressman Pascrell, and Congressman LoBiondo come out strongly against offshore drilling. Now we need the rest of our delegation to do the same. By allowing seismic testing, Trump is actually opening up our coast to offshore drilling. Drilling for oil poisons our oceans and threatens our entire economy from fishing to tourism. This will seriously threaten our $38 billion coastal economy, destroy our ecosystem and fisheries, while harming people who live along the coast.”


“Drilling anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic would directly put our coasts at risk. Even a spill off of Virginia would find its way to our shores. One quart of oil pollutes a million gallons of water. This is really shortsighted because of the potential for a little bit of oil could jeopardize our coast, our multi-billion-dollar fishing industry, and our tourism industry. What is even worse is that the oil and gas being drilled for could be shipped to Europe or Asian. That means the only oil we will see is the oil that will wash up on our beaches from a spill.”

 cortes and hay2

“Donald Trump is working to undo all the protections of the Atlantic Ocean put in place by the Obama Administration so we are glad our representatives are coming out against him. Offshore drilling will lead to increased climate impacts, while polluting our air and waterways. What is even worse is that the oil and gas being drilled for could be shipped to Europe or Asian. That means the only oil we will see is the oil that will wash up on our beaches from a spill. The oil would be taken to refineries in our area, further putting us at risk.”


“While our members in Congress are taking action against seismic testing, where is Governor Christie? Christie says he will support our coasts but what is he going to do to stop these federal actions that endanger our entire state. In 2015, he sued against seismic testing, now he is completely silent. He was also opposed to offshore drilling, but hasn’t done anything to block it. This shows he is only against offshore drilling and seismic testing when it is not President Trump initiating his dangerous and reckless plans.”


“We need our representatives to continue to stand up against President Trump’s attacks on our coast, tourism, and ecosystems. We should be focusing on promoting safe and renewable energy like wind power and not opening up the Atlantic to test for offshore drilling. Now we them to all come out against offshore drilling and help stop Trump’s dangerous plans. Sierra Club is already in Court against offshore drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans and we have been fighting for over 45 years. We will continue to fight to protect our coast from testing and drilling and need all of our representatives to oppose both seismic testing and offshore drilling.”