Sierra Club calling for ban on offshore drilling on Jersey coast

TRENTON – The Sierra Club of New Jersey wants Gov. Chris Christie to strongly oppose offshore drilling off the state’s coast, making sure the Jersey Shore is protected.  

Executive Director Jeff Tittel said while Christie initially opposed offshore drilling, recent actions suggest the governor may be changing his position to conform with national Republican Party positions.  

“We’re concerned drilling off our coast will hurt our economy,” he said.

With thousands of visitors bound for the Jersey Shore on Memorial Day weekend, the Sierra club has released a report and will have radio and new media ads airing through the holiday weekend concerning the dangers of offshore drilling and calling on Christie to take a firm stance on the issue.

But Kevin Roberts, spokesman for Gov. Christie, said the governor remains opposed to offshore drilling, adding that Tittel is spewing “nonsense.”

“You really ought not buy into Jeff Tittel’s nonsense,” Roberts said. “He’s a hyper partisan whose hysteria on every topic under the sun undercuts his credibility in whole.  Gov. Christie opposes drilling off of the New Jersey coast, period, as has been extensively documented since our first year in office.”

Assemblywoman Grace Spencer, (D-29), of Newark, said while New Jersey needs to find ways to expand its economy, drilling for oil is not the answer.

“Offshore drilling off the coast of New Jersey is not the way,” she said.

“Take a stand now that there will be a ban on offshore drilling.”

Assemblyman Peter Barnes, (D-17), of Edison, added that allowing offshore drilling in other nearby states, such as Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania, could also pose a hazard.

Sierra Club calling for ban on offshore drilling on Jersey coast