People on wildwood beachA ban on offshore drilling for oil or natural gas in New Jersey waters is now law. Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation today to combat the Trump administration’s decision to open the nation’s ocean to oil exploration.

The bill, S-258 (Van Drew, D-1; Singleton, D-7)/A-839 (Land, D-1; Andrzejczak, D-1), takes effect immediately.  NJBIA supported the measure.

The key concern for the economy is the protection of the state’s $44 billion-a-year tourism industry. Much of that economic activity is tied to visits to New Jersey’s shore towns and resorts. Offshore drilling would make New Jersey’s shore less attractive to tourists, and should there be an oil spill, even from off the coasts of neighboring states, the consequences could be severe for thousands of small businesses that rely on a few months in the summer for their income.

“Offshore drilling would be a disaster for our environment, our economy, and our coastal communities,” Murphy said. “The bipartisan legislation I am signing into law, on the eighth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Spill, will block oil companies from drilling in state waters. We simply cannot allow the danger of drilling off our coast. The societal, economic and environmental costs would be detrimental to the overall quality of life for our residents.”

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