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Congressman Sires Opposes House Republicans’ Attempt to Punish New Jersey for Protecting its Shores

Jun 14, 2018
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Sires released a statement on Republicans on the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources holding a hearing on a draft of the so-called Enhancing State Management of Federal Lands and Waters Act. The bill would impose a fee on New Jersey and any other State that prevents offshore drilling on 50 percent or more of a proposed lease sale.

“This bill is a naked attempt to punish States like New Jersey, which have chosen to prioritize the well-being of their waters and their shoreline communities over the interests of oil businesses. New Jerseyans heard about the Trump Administration’s proposal to open the Atlantic shores to offshore drilling and swiftly moved legislation to block drilling off their shores – legislation which was signed into law by Governor Murphy in April.

This attack on New Jersey’s right to protect its own is a giveaway to oil businesses who have realized that States on the East Coast do not want to endanger their waters for the sake of profit.  Republicans are all about Federalism and States’ rights, right up until those rights bump up against corporations’ ability to make money. I have previously joined my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in opposing this poorly though-out plan, and I will continue opposing it until the Administration gives up its attacks.”

In January, the Trump Administration called for opening nearly all American waters for oil exploration. In response to this, the New Jersey Legislature quickly passed a bill to prohibit oil exploration in State waters, which was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.