Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the below statement following President Trump’s Executive Order on offshore drilling.

“Offshore drilling and fossil fuel exploration in the Atlantic Ocean is a grave economic and environmental threat to New Jersey. New Jerseyans across the political spectrum have long fought to protect our beloved Jersey Shore from the dangers of offshore drilling, and President Trump's Executive Order will erode the protections we have secured.

“We've seen what can happen when something goes wrong with offshore drilling. We know that an oil spill in the Atlantic would be an environmental disaster for beaches, fisheries, and marine life. The economic consequences would be catastrophic – lost tourism, lost business, and lost jobs.

“The Executive Order also calls for the expediting of permits for seismic airgun blasting,  which will be devastating to marine life and the coastal ecosystem. Given the overwhelming opposition to drilling in the Atlantic, we should not be allowing for the harmful practice of seismic airgun blasting.

“Drilling in the Atlantic is dangerous to New Jersey coastal communities, and I will join communities up and down the Shore to make our opposition clear to this Administration every way that I can.”

In December 2016, 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, after years of pressure from Booker and New Jersey’s Congressional delegation. Today’s Executive Order attempts to roll back this permanent protection.

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.