Clean Ocean Action
March 6, 2018
Citizens Blast Federal Officials for Double Standard!
Sandy Hook, NJ- On March 2, 2018 Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) hosted a hearing on the Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM) proposal to open 90% of US waters to oil and gas exploration, leasing, development and production. At the meeting in held in Farmingdale, Long Island, hundreds of citizens spoke before high ranking officials of the Department of Interior and BOEM who listened to and recorded citizens opinions. Officials even extended the 2 hour allowed time to ensure everyone who wanted a chance to testify.
New Jersey residents were not afforded such equal opportunity, even after repeatedly requested by NJ congressional representatives.
“This double-standard is an outrage. We demand that BOEM extend the public comment period and provide the same right to a public hearing at the Jersey Shore,” said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director, Clean Ocean Action.
“Every other coastal state that is targeted by this outrageous proposal should be afforded this same basic right. COA will also review if there are any legal issues with BOEM’s blatant unfairness,” she added.
U.S. Department of Interior Representatives attending and listening at the hearing were Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs John Tanner and Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management Kate MacGregor who oversees BOEM.
On January 4, 2018 the Trump Administration declared war on the shore when Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced the next phase of President Trump’s new 5-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (Draft Proposed Plan). The plan includes opening the entire Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida for drilling, including all of the Jersey Shore and NY’s South Shore, and would allow rigs to come within 3 miles of beaches. Good governance is essential. So important is the public’s opportunity to testify, Clean Ocean Action held a Citizen Public Hearing during the BOEM public meeting held in NJ on February 14. Over 250 citizens attended and for 4 hours over 50 citizens spoke on the record, which was officially recorded, transcribed, and will be submitted to BOEM for the record. It is not the job of a local nonprofit to provide this service; it is up to government agencies like BOEM to provide public comment opportunities and be held accountable for their decisions and proposals.
Contact: Allison Meyerhoff, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Clean Ocean Action, 732-872-0111, firstname.lastname@example.org