Environmental advocates joined U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) on Asbury Park’s boardwalk to denounce President Donald Trump’s approval of five incidental harassment authorization permits, allowing companies to use seismic air guns to search for offshore oil and natural gas in the Atlantic. The process, they say, can disturb, harm and potentially kill marine life.
“It’s like being stuck in an underwater fireworks display for days at end, with no end in sight, creating havoc in our coastal environment,” said NJ Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel.
Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, said that while seismic testing will not take place directly off New Jersey, it will affect communities along the Jersey Shore. “In the impact zone, you’re going to have the most devastation. But… it disrupts the whole ecosystem for tens of thousands of miles away.”
The concern is that seismic testing will open the door to offshore drilling in the Atlantic and along New Jersey’s coast.
The effort to stop seismic testing and offshore drilling is a bipartisan one. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) has signed on to a letter with 53 other members of Congress to deny a final permit for companies to conduct seismic testing in the Atlantic.
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