Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today applauded House passage of an appropriations bill for fiscal year 2021 that included a provision that would ban offshore drilling. In May, Pallone sent a letter requesting the drilling ban be included in the appropriations bill.
In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order aimed toward allowing offshore oil and gas drilling along the East Coast. The Pallone provision prohibits the Secretary of the Interior or the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management from conducting or authorizing oil and gas leasing and related activities along the Pacific coast, Atlantic coast, Florida’s coast, and in the Arctic Ocean.
“I’m proud that the House passed this appropriations bill that stops the Trump Administration’s plans to trade our beautiful shorelines for a big pay day for oil and gas executives. This bill would rightly ensure that no taxpayer money is used to develop fossil fuels off our shores,” Congressman Pallone said. “The coastal communities in my district depend on a healthy ecosystem to thrive. An oil spill would threaten the economic vitality of the Jersey shoreline and communities up and down the Atlantic Coast. It’s now time for the Senate to take up the underlying legislation, because we must protect our shores from the Trump Administration’s dangerous offshore drilling plans.”
An oil spill along the Atlantic Coast would devastate communities and wildlife habitats. In New Jersey, the tourism industry generates $44 billion a year and supports over half a million jobs. The Jersey Shore is home to over $700 billion in coastal properties, and the tourism industry generates almost half a million jobs – nearly ten percent of the state’s entire workforce. New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry generates over $7.9 billion annually supporting over 50,000 jobs. New Jersey also has one of the largest saltwater recreational fishing industries in the United States.
Pallone has served as a longtime advocate of an offshore drilling ban. In January 2019, he introduced the COAST Anti-Drilling Act that would ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic. In April 2019, he wrote to Secretary David Bernhardt at the Department of Interior to ask him to permanently abandon plans to conduct offshore oil and gas exploration. Last July, he was joined by environmental advocates and tourism leaders in Long Branch to applaud progress in the fight to ban offshore oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic Coast.