Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pallone: Shell Withdrawal from Arctic Oil and Gas Exploration Shows Offshore Drilling Should Not be a Part of U.S. Energy Future

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, expressed his support for the decision by Royal Dutch Shell to stop offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic.

“The move by Shell to cease exploration for oil in the Arctic is the latest example that offshore oil and gas drilling is a bad investment that should not be a part of our country’s energy future,” said Congressman Pallone. “Five years after the Deepwater Horizon Spill, we’ve witnessed the detrimental and lasting environmental and economic damage that can be done by an oil spill. We are clearly at a point when we must not expand drilling off our coasts.”

Pallone introduced a bill earlier this year with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to ban offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. The Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act prohibits the Department of the Interior from issuing any lease for the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas in the North, Mid-, or South Atlantic Planning Areas. The Obama Administration earlier this year included areas from Virginia to Georgia in its Draft 2017-2022 Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. As the Deepwater Horizon spill clearly showed, oil spills do not respect state borders, and the proposed drilling would be a direct threat to New Jersey’s coastal communities and industries.

He has also consistently combatted efforts for seismic testing for oil and gas off in the Atlantic Ocean. Most recently, he and Senator Menendez sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in opposition to proposed oil and gas geophysical survey activity, including seismic testing, in the Atlantic Ocean.

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