Saying President Obama's decision to lift the federal moratorium on offshore drilling was a step in the right direction, Republican congressional candidate Jon Runyan (NJ-3) today said that ultimately the decision to drill off the coast of New Jersey or any other state should be left up to each state's governor and legislature after carefully taking into account all the relevant economic and environmental factors.
"President Obama's plan to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling is a step in the right direction for reducing our nation's dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs and bringing down the cost of energy on overburdened consumers," said Runyan, who personally supports offshore drilling more than 50 miles from the coast, far out of view from beachgoers. "In my opinion, the decision to drill off the coast of New Jersey, or any other state for that matter, is strictly a state's rights issue. The federal government should get out of the way and leave it up to the people in each state to make that decision through the Governor and State Legislature they elect."
Runyan said partisan politics was getting in the way of reducing energy costs for consumers, and said offshore drilling should be an integral part of a long-term energy strategy that will help fund a more rapid transition to alternative energies like wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal and shale oil from the Western Rockies.
"Those who want to put all our eggs in the domestic drilling basket are wrong, and so are those who want to focus exclusively on alternative energies -- we need to do both," said Runyan. "The people of this country deserve a comprehensive energy plan that makes America less dependent on foreign oil, creates jobs, protects our environment and reduces energy costs for consumers struggling to make ends meet."
Runyan said the risk of a major oil spill is remote, and criticized those who incite fear in the public to score political points.
"Trying to scare people with doom and gloom scenarios only serves to keep this country addicted to foreign oil, keep people out-of-work and keep energy costs rising at a rate faster than consumers can pay," said Runyan. "I am confident that putting these decisions in the hands of the states will give more power to individual citizens to have their voices heard and eventually lead to sensible compromise that benefits the nation as a whole."