Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100
Sierra Club Joins Hands in the Sand to Protesting Trump and Offshore Drilling
Bradley Beach, NJ- On Saturday, New Jersey residents, New Jersey Sierra Club, and the Surfrider Foundation, joined hands in opposition to offshore drilling and seismic testing. We are locking hands to stand up against Trump and his oil drilling cronies from threatening our coasts. This is one of hundreds of synchronized events globally to raise awareness about the dangers of dirty fuels and the need to speed the transition to available, affordable clean energy solutions. We are standing up together for offshore wind over offshore drilling and speak out against any attacks by the Trump Administration!
“We’re standing together to protect our oceans from offshore drilling. We are drawing a line in the sand to say NO to Trump’s plans to drill off our coasts and threaten our environment and economy. We must continue to protect our coasts by stopping dangerous oil drilling and seismic testing. Drilling for oil poisons our oceans and threatens our entire economy from fishing to tourism. We must explore new technologies for wind and wave power and remove obstacles that stand in the way of clean energy. We should be focusing on promoting safe and renewable energy like wind power and not opening up the Atlantic to drilling,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Together we are joining Hands Across the Sand to stand up for protecting our coasts and say NO to offshore drilling!
Recently the Department of the Interior today announced it will move forward to resume its evaluation of applications from six companies seeking permits to conduct geological and geophysical (G&G) activities in the Atlantic Ocean. This comes after President Trump reversed the Obama Administration’s efforts to halt these activities. While President Obama made efforts to protect our oceans, the Trump Administration is pushing forward with seismic testing and ultimately, offshore drilling.
“Drilling off the coasts would have devastating consequences to New Jersey. We should all be working to prevent drilling off our coasts. These dangerous and greedy actions will seriously threaten our $38 billion coastal economy, destroy our ecosystem and fisheries, while harming people who live along the coast,” said Jeff Tittel. “The Sierra Club has gone to court against drilling but why hasn’t Governor Christie? Christie says he will support our coasts but what is he going to do to stop these federal actions that endanger our entire state. Where’s Christie and the Attorney General now?”
Sierra Club’s Don’t Rig Our Coastal Economy report found that New Jersey’s coastal tourism industry supports nearly 500,000 jobs, and one out of every six of the state’s jobs are linked in some form to its shoreline. Visits to the area generate $16.6 billion in wages and add $5.5 billion to the state’s tax coffers. During the summer of 1988 when medical waste washed up onto a 50-mile stretch of New Jersey’s shore, tourism dropped off significantly and the area directly lost at least $1 billion in revenue. An oil spill off the coast of New Jersey could trigger an even more dramatic decline in tourism.
“Governor Christie should be acting to protect New Jersey by taking this decision to court. Drilling anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic would directly put our coasts at risk. Even a spill off of Virginia would find its way to our shores. One quart of oil pollutes a million gallons of water. This is really shortsighted because of the potential for a little bit of oil could jeopardize our coast, our multi-billion-dollar fishing industry, and our tourism industry,” said Jeff Tittel. “Last year we had the biggest victory in 40 years when the Obama Administration blocked offshore drilling. Now Donald Trump is working to undo these protections. What is even worse is that the oil and gas being drilled for could be shipped to Europe or Asian. That means the only oil we will see is the oil that will wash up on our beaches from a spill.”
The Sierra Club is joining other groups in Court to preserve the Obama Administration’s protections of about 4 million acres last year. Offshore drilling and seismic testing is not worth the risk when we can be investing in renewable and offshore wind. Offshore wind is the most reliable and cost effective form of offshore power and New Jersey needs to pursue policies to facilitate the construction of wind turbines off our coast. 1/3 of our electricity needs can be met with offshore wind in New Jersey. Wind energy is renewable, clean, and creates thousands of jobs. The East Coast, with its large metropolitan areas and dense suburbs is hungry for jobs, investment and energy. Offshore wind not only creates jobs in installing, operating, and maintaining wind turbines.
“We must demand a clean energy future to reduce pollution, combat climate change, and create green jobs. Offshore drilling is dangerous for New Jersey’s environment, economy, and communities. Given the prevailing currents, any spill that happens in the Atlantic could come straight to New Jersey’s beaches. At the same time, our state has become proliferated with pipeline proposals that threaten the environment and public safety. These disastrous impacts are unnecessary given the technology we have for clean renewable energy. When we’re down the shore the only blast we should ever have is at a beach bar and the only oil we want on the beach is suntan oil!” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
Hands Across the Sand is an annual international grassroots event designed to demonstrate local opposition to the exploration for and transport of dirty fossil fuels. Today’s event is taking place at the Third Avenue Beach entrance of Bradley Beach from 11am to 1 pm. Protesters are hearing from speakers and joining hands on the beach at noon.