WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement after the Trump Administration announced plans to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all federal waters, including parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

“The Trump Administration has proven they are willing to put oil company profits ahead of the safety of our coastal communities,” said Sen. Booker. “We know full well the potentially devastating impact drilling in the Atlantic could have on the Jersey Shore and the entire East Coast.  An oil spill would not only be an environmental disaster for our beaches, fisheries and marine life, but the economic consequences would ripple across the region with lost jobs and shuttered businesses. I have long stood with New Jerseyans and our delegation in protecting our Jersey Shore, and will continue to do so in the face of potentially irreparable harm.”

Booker has long been an outspoken advocate for a ban on harmful extraction efforts in the Atlantic, including offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting. In December 2016, after years of pressure from Sens. Booker, Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, the Obama administration announced a permanent ban of offshore drilling in deep water canyons from Virginia to New England, including off of the New Jersey coast.

In February 2016, Booker succeeded in passing an amendment through the Senate that would ban seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean for methane hydrate, a form of natural gas, but the larger bill did not advance through Congress.

In August 2015, Booker sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) urging a denial of four seismic survey applications for oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean.  Booker also spoke out against President Trump’s executive order earlier last year on expediting off-shore drilling, pledging to fight the Administration’s efforts to erode coastal protections from off-shore drilling.