New Jersey political foes unite to press for Florida-style drilling waiver

A bipartisan grouping of politicians from the state of New Jersey on Sunday wrote a letter to the President Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Interior, asking for the Garden State to be excluded from new expanded offshore oil drilling plans, according to CNN and the Associated Press.

Outgoing state governor Chris Christie (a Republican) and incoming governor-elect Phil Murphy (Democrat) co-signed the letter along with New Jersey’s two US Senators Cory Booker and Bob Hernandez (both Democrats).

The letter came at the end of a week in which Department of the Interior (DOI) secretary Ryan Zinke undermined his own department’s recently announced five-year plan to unleash vastly more offshore drilling by making an exception for Florida.

Political representatives of many of the other coastal areas – Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Arctic – affected by the proposed expansion are marshalling arguments to match those of Florida governor Rick Scott, who said the vital tourism sector would be adversely affected.

“We agree with your assessment that drilling for oil and gas offshore could negatively impact a coastal state’s tourism industry, and New Jersey is no exception to that rule. The New Jersey tourism industry accounts for one out of 10 jobs in the state’s workforce, and this industry has continued to grow year after year,” the letter to Zinke stated.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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