Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement today, disagreeing with the Obama Administration's decision to allow new seismic testing for oil exploration off the Atlantic coast:
"I am deeply disappointed by the Administration's announcement today that the U.S. Department of Interior will move forward with plans to conduct seismic testing off the coast of the Atlantic. This activity is in no uncertain terms, a first step toward deep water exploration and a plan to drill for oil off the East coast.
"While we need to take advantage of available options to meet our nation's growing energy needs, and I support drilling in currently leased areas, we cannot move in a direction that would lead to Atlantic oil drilling. Drilling off the Atlantic coast could have dire consequences for the health of the Atlantic Ocean and so many coastal communities.
"Our nation watched with horror nearly two years ago as the BP oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico devastated the region's waterways and aquaculture. We must not take steps toward exposing the nation's East coast to the potential for similar disasters. All along the nation's East coast, Americans rely on the health of the ocean for a variety of industries from fishing to tourism. In New Jersey alone, tourism brought in $38 billion last year, a significant portion of which was generated from our pristine coastline. We must not forgo the health of the Atlantic coast for a kick-back to Big Oil down the line."