TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) –– New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is at odds with the Trump Administration over proposed drilling off the state’s coast in pursuit of oil reserves.
The Governor may be out of the country on vacation, but he did tweet that he was “delivering on my promise” to oppose such a plan.
New Jersey Environmental Protection Secretary Bob Martin penned a note to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management expressing the state opposition to a plan to issue leases for oil and gas exploration.
Jeff Tittle, head of New Jersey’s Sierra Club, often speaks out against Christie. Not this time.
“It’s good that Governor Christie came out against this,” Tittle told KYW Newsradio. “I wish he was a little earlier on this to help fight it.”
In fact, Christie has been opposed to offshore drilling since 2010 but that waned a bit during his brief Presidential run. The letter comes at the end of public comment on the Trump Administration’s plan, and Tittle suggests this would lead to a court fight by whoever’s Governor if the feds go ahead with it.
At the same time, Tittle wishes Christie had taken his opposition a little further.
“He did come out against drilling in the mid-Atlantic which would also include Maryland and Virginia and also New York, but we still have concerns that there’s potential for drilling off North Carolina,” Tittle added.
And a spill even that far south could adversely affect the Garden State.
Martin’s letter noted not just the potential for environmental harm but the threat to New Jersey’s 44 billion dollar tourism industry, which generates over 5.6 billion dollars a year in federal taxes.