By David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Elected officials in New Jersey are mounting a unified effort to oppose a proposal from the Obama administration that would allow for oil and natural gas exploration off the Atlantic Coast, from Virginia to Georgia.

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So why would New Jersey be worried about drilling si far away from its own shoreline?  Experts suggest it’s a valid concern, according to US senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

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“Of course we all know, from our engagement with NOAA and other scientists, that wave currents would take a spill from anywhere in the proposed area and land it on the beaches and shores of New Jersey,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

And, he says, one need only look at the scope of damage in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP oil spill as proof.

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Menendez, fellow NJ senator Cory Booker, and North Jersey congressman Frank Pallone have written to President Obama asking that he reconsider the proposal.  Menendez says they hope to stop things while the plan is being debated administratively, before this becomes a political battle.