OCEAN TWP -- Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, who represent several Jersey Shore towns including Asbury Park, Long Branch, and Neptune, spoke out this week against a proposal from the Trump Administration to open up oil and gas exploration off the Jersey shoreline. Local residents, public officials, and environmental advocates alike have voiced strong opposition to the proposal and similar proposals in the past, arguing that offshore drilling could cause irreversible damage to coastal communities and the state’s $44 billion tourism industry in the event of an oil spill.
Houghtaling and Downey have also submitted a letter as public comment to the Department of the Interior, opposing inclusion of any areas along the Atlantic coastline in any offshore drilling plan, citing the devastation is could cause for local economies.
“Our fishing and tourism industries depend on a clean, healthy Jersey shore,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), “To allow offshore drilling along any part of the coast would open us up to disaster and put these industries at risk.”
“This would be an incredibly irresponsible decision. To put so many homes, jobs, and people at risk is unconscionable decision,” said Downey (D-Monmouth), “But we will speak out on behalf of our constituents. The Jersey Shore can’t be ignored, and we will do whatever we have to do to protect it.”