STATE COMMENTS TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTINUES GOVERNOR’S 2010 PLEDGE
(17/P82) TRENTON – In formal comments submitted today to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Christie Administration affirmed its continued, steadfast opposition to natural gas and oil exploration in Atlantic Ocean waters off New Jersey, affirming that the State opposes any industrialization of our coast that could negatively impact natural resources, coastal communities or the economy.
The letter from Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin to BOEM was in response to a July 3 Federal Register notice soliciting comments on a proposed National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas and Leasing Program. The planned five-year program would lease large tracts of underwater areas from Maine to Florida for oil and natural gas exploration, and potentially for future development.
“Weighing the potential negative impacts to New Jersey’s natural resources, coastal communities, and economy with the potential for energy generation and current energy needs, the State of New Jersey opposes any portion of the North and Mid-Atlantic Ocean being included in the development of a National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program,” Commissioner Martin wrote in the letter to BOEM.
Since 2010, Governor Christie has repeatedly made clear his commitment to protecting the New Jersey coast, opposing any offshore energy exploration or development, including vetoing liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities proposed to be located in our coastal waters. Governor Christie has consistently opposed such projects, citing the risks to New Jersey’s residents, natural resources, economy and security.
“Governor Christie continues to demonstrate his commitment, year after year, to protecting our air, land, water, and natural and historic resources, and recognizes that the ocean is one of New Jersey’s most valued treasures,” said Commissioner Martin. “Energy exploration or facilities off our coast pose far too many unacceptable risks to our environment, to the safety and welfare of the State's residents, and to New Jersey’s economy.”
A copy of Commissioner Martin’s letter to BOEM can be found at: www.nj.gov/dep/docs/njdep-boem-letter-220170816.pdf