Posted by: Drew | April 2, 2009



US Senator Menendez and US Representatives LoBiondo and Pallone

Call for Clean Healthy Ocean and Urge Public Involvement
Atlantic City, NJ — Flanked by a polar bear, porpoise, and seal, green energy, environmental, ocean advocacy, and businesses called upon citizens to attend next week’s unprecedented opportunity to speak out and help shape the future energy policy of the United States. On April 6, 2009, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Kenneth Salazar will be conducting the first of only four national meetings, and the only east coast hearing, in Atlantic City at the Convention Center. The Secretary will present a new report by Minerals Management Service on the status of offshore energy, including both green energy sources and fossil fuels. Elected officials and citizens will be given an opportunity to testify at morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. Key focuses are plans to allow oil exploration and drilling in the areas of the coast long held off-limits due to environmental concerns.

“Drilling on our coast is a gamble we can’t afford to take and does nothing to advance successful progress toward renewable and environmentally sustainable energy. Now is the time to invest in clean resources and solidify our energy independence,” stated Tom Beaty, president of the Alliance for a Living Ocean (ALO). ALO is a local environmental group whose mission it is to promote and maintain clean water and a healthy coastal environment.

Kelly Quinlan, ALO Issues and Legislation Committee Chair, stated, “We need to share the message that our coastline is one of our most valuable resources, and we can not allow the health of our coastal environment to be compromised. As Atlantic City was selected as the hearing site to represent the entire East Coast, it is up to us to let the DOI know that Americans want to be powered by renewable energy sources. We encourage everyone who cares about energy independence, coastal tourism, clean water and clean beaches to join us in sharing our message on April 6th,” she added.

“The value of the ocean and the coast both in terms of quality of life and economic contributions far exceeds the value of oil and gas extraction,” said Helen Henderson, Atlantic Coast Project Manager for the American Littoral Society. “Now is the time for citizens to make their voices heard. They must send a strong message to the Obama administration that they don’t support off-shore drilling and industrialization of our ocean. There is simply too much at risk – both environmentally and economically. Citizens should come to the hearing and lend their voices to protect the Jersey Coast they love. They should show their opposition to dark, dirty, offshore drilling,” she added.

“The energy decisions we make today will be with us for decades to come. As the Obama Administration shapes its energy agenda, we need to ensure that offshore drilling is off the table once and for all. Now is the time for New Jerseyans to speak out against offshore drilling and to ensure that President Obama prioritizes clean renewable energy development,” said Matt Elliott, Global Warming and Clean Energy Advocate at Environment New Jersey.

“The joys of the sea and the multi-billion dollar economy that it supports are at stake. Fossil fuels and healthy coasts are like oil and water—in fact they repel each other,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. “This is a rare and pivotal opportunity for citizens to take charge and demand a green responsible energy future starting with energy conservation and efficiency which is good for the ocean and creates thousands of good jobs. People power works. It is essential that like-minded citizens attend this meeting,” she added.

“New Jersey’s coastal-dependent economy and vibrant wildlife are far too valuable to put at risk with drilling rigs and oil spills,” said Richard Charter, Government Relations Consultant, Defenders of Wildlife. “Interior Secretary Salazar’s willingness to travel to Atlantic City to listen to the public’s concerns needs to be met with a strong and heartfelt message of ‘Save Our Coast’ from everyone who cares about the Jersey Shore.”

“Expanded offshore drilling poses the risk of oil spills ruining our beaches from Florida to Maine, bringing harm to all those who live, work, and vacation along the coast,” said Sarah Chasis, Ocean Initiative Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “More drilling will only prolong our dependence on fossil fuels, without bringing lower energy prices. If you want to keep your beach clean and oil-free – make your voice heard.”

“This hearing is a moment of truth for the American People. We are either going to have a Green Economy based on renewable energy or we will continue with the fossil foolishness of the past,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of NJ Sierra Club. “We must protect our coast from offshore drilling and make sure the only oil we ever see on our beaches is suntan oil,” he added.

“Coastline drilling may be a top priority of the oil companies, but it is a bad deal for New Jersey families,” said US Senator Robert Menendez. “It would fail to significantly affect gas prices, but would instead slow the transition to cheap renewable energy while putting our Jersey Shore and its robust economy at risk. These are realities that we hope to impress upon the Department of the Interior next week so that the Jersey Shore remains off limits to the oil companies,” he added.

“I applaud the Interior Secretary Salazar’s selection of Atlantic City for one of the four public comment meetings on expanding off-shore drilling around the country. This is a critical opportunity for South Jersey residents to voice their views on proposals currently being considered by the Administration,” said Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02). “I remain opposed to drilling off

New Jersey’s coast and urge everyone to make their opinion known at the upcoming public meeting,” he added.

“Drilling for oil in our coastal waters poses an environmental and economic threat to one of New Jersey’s most treasured resources: The Jersey Shore,” said Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-6). “It is important that citizens have their voices heard about this important topic. We don’t want oil rigs along the coast and we can’t accept the risk of oil spills in the ocean tides or on our beaches.”

Alliance for a Living Ocean ~~ American Littoral Society ~~

Clean Ocean Action ~~ Defenders of Wildlife ~~ Environment New Jersey ~~

Natural Resources Defense Council ~~ NJ Sierra Club


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