SENATE RESOLUTION No. 78 STATE OF NEW JERSEY. 214th LEGISLATURE INTRODUCED JULY 1, 2010

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1 SENATE RESOLUTION No. STATE OF NEW JERSEY th LEGISLATURE INTRODUCED JULY, 00 Sponsored by: Senator SEAN T. KEAN District (Monmouth) Senator ANDREW R. CIESLA District 0 (Monmouth and Ocean) Co-Sponsored by: Senators Connors and Whelan SYNOPSIS Urges President and Congress to permanently ban deepwater offshore oil and gas drilling off the east coast. CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT As introduced.

2 A SENATE RESOLUTION memorializing the President and Congress of the United States to make permanent the President s moratorium on deepwater offshore oil and gas drilling with regard to its application to the east coast. WHEREAS, On April 0, 00, a catastrophic explosion occurred at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig leased by British Petroleum (BP) and operated in deep offshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico which caused the deaths of people and which has resulted in the continuing release of oil from the rig into the Gulf; and WHEREAS, Millions of gallons of crude oil have been released into the Gulf so far as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill, and because BP has, thus far, been unsuccessful in its attempts to stop the oil from leaking from the well, more and more crude oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico every day; and WHEREAS, Plans to permanently seal the well are not expected to be effectuated until late in the summer of 00; and WHEREAS, The ever-growing oil spill has touched land in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina, threatening both the ecology and the economy of those states, and by its end, is expected to impact every area of the Gulf Coast and also threaten states along the eastern seaboard, with costs amounting in the billions of dollars nationwide; and WHEREAS, Although President Barack Obama had previously proposed the authorization of expanded opportunities for oil and natural gas drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), as a result of, and in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the President, through his Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, has now declared a six-month moratorium on all new deepwater offshore oil and gas drilling projects until an investigation into oil rig regulations can be completed; and WHEREAS, The Deepwater Horizon disaster is only one of many oil spill disasters that have occurred throughout history, and is just a recent indication of the public health and environmental dangers that are associated with oil or natural gas exploration; and WHEREAS, New Jersey has a -mile coastline of beautiful beaches, which the residents of the State have long prized as one of its greatest natural resources, and which they have sought to protect and preserve by investing millions of dollars toward shore protection efforts, and by supporting numerous measures to improve water quality and reduce pollution in State coastal waters; and WHEREAS, New Jersey s close proximity to many other eastern coastal states, and the ability of strong water currents in the Atlantic Ocean to travel great distances, make offshore drilling for oil or natural gas in any waters along the east coast a crucial issue which affects the entire eastern seaboard, and all of the eastern states

3 could ultimately be negatively impacted by just one state choosing to begin drilling activities; and WHEREAS, Many of New Jersey s natural treasures, resources, and industries would be seriously jeopardized, if not destroyed or devastated, by contamination from oil spills or accidents involving the drilling for, and development of, oil and natural gas reserves off or near the State s coast; and WHEREAS, The fishing, shellfishing, and tourism industries in New Jersey contribute many millions of dollars annually to the State economy, are priceless contributors to the quality of life and enjoyment of shore communities for residents and visitors alike, and would suffer greatly from any oil spill disaster similar to the Deepwater Horizon spill, which could potentially result from allowing oil or natural gas drilling operations to occur in the waters off the eastern seaboard; and WHEREAS, This State and many other states in the nation are pursuing and developing alternative forms of energy, including solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable energy technologies, thus strengthening the country s energy independence and support system for clean and renewable energy sources, and thereby reducing the need for offshore oil and natural gas drilling; and WHEREAS, It is imperative that the United States government glean appropriate lessons from disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and that it take the necessary steps to ensure protection of its citizens and the environment from known and unknown hazards associated with offshore oil and natural gas drilling; and WHEREAS, It is altogether fitting and proper and in the public interest of the State of New Jersey for this House to support the President s six-month moratorium on deepwater offshore oil and natural gas drilling, and to urge the President and Congress to make it permanent with regard to its application to oil and natural gas drilling in the waters off the east coast; now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:. This House supports President Obama s six-month moratorium on all new deepwater offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, and urges the President and Congress to take whatever action is necessary to make the moratorium permanent with regard to its application to oil and natural gas drilling in the waters off the east coast.. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and attested to by the Secretary thereof, shall be transmitted to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority and Minority Leaders of the

4 United States Senate, and to every member of Congress elected from this State. STATEMENT This resolution supports President Obama s six-month moratorium on all deepwater offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, and urges Congress and the President to take whatever action is necessary to make the moratorium permanent with regard to its application to oil and natural gas drilling in the waters off the east coast. On April 0, 00, a catastrophic explosion occurred at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which is leased by British Petroleum (BP) and operated in deep offshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This explosion killed people and caused the release of millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf. Although President Barack Obama had previously proposed the authorization of expanded opportunities for oil and natural gas drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), as a result of, and in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the President, through his Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, has now declared a six-month moratorium on all new deepwater offshore oil and gas drilling projects. The Deepwater Horizon disaster is only one of many oil spill disasters that have occurred throughout history, and is just a recent indication of the public health and environmental dangers associated with oil or natural gas exploration. Millions of gallons of crude oil have been released into the Gulf so far as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill, and because BP has, thus far, been unsuccessful in its attempts to stop the oil from leaking from the well, more and more crude oil continue to gush into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Yet plans to permanently seal the well are not expected to be effectuated until late in the summer of 00. The ever-growing oil spill has touched land in the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina, threatening both the ecology and the economy of those states, and by its end, is expected to impact every area of the Gulf Coast, and is likely to threaten states on the eastern seaboard as well, with costs amounting in the billions of dollars nationwide. New Jersey s close proximity to many other eastern coastal states, and the ability of strong water currents in the Atlantic Ocean to travel great distances, make offshore drilling for oil or natural gas in any waters along the east coast a crucial issue which affects the entire eastern seaboard. Many of the State s natural treasures, resources, and industries would be seriously jeopardized, if not destroyed or devastated, by contamination from oil spills or accidents similar to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which involve the drilling for, and development of, oil and natural gas reserves off or near the State s coast. The fishing, shellfishing, and tourism industries in New Jersey contribute many millions of dollars

5 annually to the State economy and are priceless contributors to the quality of life and enjoyment of shore communities for residents and visitors alike. For these reasons and many more, it is altogether fitting and proper and in the public interest for this House to support the President s six-month moratorium on all new deepwater offshore oil and natural gas drilling, and to urge the President and Congress to make it permanent with regard to its application to oil and natural gas drilling in the waters off the east coast.

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