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Off-shore Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

Location: Mountainside, NJ

Off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
Mountainside, N.J. - Tom Kean Jr. issued the following statement on the proposal in the Senate to permit off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico:

"Today, the U.S. Senate began debate on a proposal offered by Senator Landrieu of Louisiana to permit off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. I have serious concerns about this legislation.

While greater revenue sharing for oil-producing states and protections for Florida may sound promising to some, it sounds like a pay-off to me. Our natural resources and coastal protections should not be up for sale to the special interests - their protection is critical to the economic and environmental success of our state.

I am concerned that our current representation in the U.S. Senate - as they've proven time and again - will not be capable of ensuring the necessary protections for New Jersey, and I urge our Congressional delegation to unite in opposition to any legislation that would undermine current protections.

The Senate bill also opens federally protected waters to the will of the states. Whether it be water pollution from dumping or air pollution from factories on the other side of Appalachia, New Jersey has too often bore the brunt of bad decisions in other states. The impact of an off-shore oil spill in a neighboring state would likely become a regional crisis and a national problem.

Let's be clear, this measure will do nothing to reduce the price of gasoline today or tomorrow. Unlike President Bush, I don't believe we need to drill our way to energy independence. I believe the United States has the technology, resources and innovative spirit to make energy independence a reality - we just need the will and the leadership to do it in a manner that meets the needs of both industry and the environment.

As a nation, we need to stop taking checker-board approaches to our national energy needs. While it will be a long time before our nation will no longer rely on traditional sources of energy, we need to enact legislation that embraces a comprehensive approach to creating energy independence. By promoting policies that advance the use of new technologies and alternative fuel sources, we can begin to move away from traditional energy sources. By passing measures that offer greater incentives for consumers to purchase energy saving products, we can ensure the market demand necessary to create competition and innovation for energy efficient products and services.

With oil and gas companies recording $30 billion dollar record profits while consumers pay record prices at the pump, this legislation represents a step in the wrong direction.

As the next U.S. Senator from New Jersey, I will fight these types of failed policies and work to bring true, comprehensive energy reform to the citizens of this great nation."

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