by KYW’s David Madden
WASHINGTON, DC (CBS) — President Obama has approved a move that bans oil drilling off the Jersey shore. Forever.
At least, that’s the assessment of those who pushed for the permanent ban the President signed at the White House Tuesday.
Mister Obama earlier this year extended a drilling ban from New England to Virginia for 5 years. Now, the ban is permanent. Among those hailing the action, Jeff Tittel of the New Jersey branch of the Sierra Club.
“It’s even more important now because of incoming President Donald Trump, who’s said he wants to drill off our coast and drill almost everywhere, what the President did was even more important and more timely,” Tittel told KYW Newsradio.
New Jersey’s Congressional delegation pushed for the action now for much the same reason.
Senator Bob Menendez, in a press release, said “we celebrate a milestone in our fight to protect the Jersey shore, but acknowledge that our work is not yet done.”
Senate colleague Cory Cooker, in the same release, continued “We must now stand ready to fight any efforts by the incoming administration to undermine these historic protections for our environment, our economy and our coastal communities.”
And there are those who insist that Mister Obama’s action is by no means permanent.
Among them, Mike Krancer, former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in Pennsylvania under Governor Tom Corbett. Krancer, now a locally based energy policy advisor, insists the closest area of any real interest in oil exploration is off Virginia and any ban including New Jersey and New England is, in his word, “irrelevant.”
“Never going to happen. Never has happened. and this is complete window dressing by the Obama Administration,” Krancer said.
He suggests President-elect Donald Trump can reverse it just as easily as Mister Obama has imposed it.