New Jersey ready to ban offshore drilling, thwart Trump plan

New Jersey is prepared to thwart President Donald Trump's plan for offshore oil and gas drilling by enacting a ban on such activity or its supporting infrastructure in state waters.

The state Assembly gave final legislative approval Thursday to a measure banning not only drilling in state waters, but any activity that supports it, such as pipelines and docks.

The bill now goes to the desk of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who has repeatedly voiced opposition to the drilling plan.

New Jersey is one of numerous coastal states adopting such tactics as a back-door way to thwart the Republican president's drilling plan in their areas.

Although it would take place in more distant federal waters, the state bans effectively block the drilling plan by preventing anything related to drilling from being built in state-controlled waters closer to shore.

"Opening up the Atlantic Ocean for offshore drilling would put at risk beaches, fisheries, and marine life all along the coast," said Assemblyman Bruce Land, a Democrat representing southern New Jersey. "An oil spill, like the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil spill of 2010 in Louisiana, would damage the fragile marine ecosystem, kill off endangered and threatened species of fish and wildlife, and poison the many types of fish and shellfish that New Jersey residents and visitors eat and harvest for sale."

"Offshore drilling would cause catastrophic and lasting economic harm to the Jersey Shore, which supports a tourism industry worth $38 billion annually,....

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