Offshore drilling opponents hold ‘Kill the Drill’ rally

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[Opponents of federally-proposed offshore oil drilling made their feelings known during a rally in Asbury Park on Wednesday. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN]

ASBURY PARK — It might not have been the best day at the shore for a rally against offshore drilling but dozens gathered on the Asbury Park Boardwalk Wednesday in the cold rain to vehemently protest a proposal that would see oil drilling platforms within three miles of the coast.

“You want to try and drill for oil out there, we are going to fight you,” Councilman John Weber, of Bradley Beach, said at the rally on Wednesday.“We are going to fight you and we are going to stop you.”

He encouraged other shore towns to pass resolutions opposing offshore drilling while speaking to a crowd of environmental groups and protestors.

 In January, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [BOEM], part of the U.S. Department of the Interior [USDOI], made public the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program, that calls for allowing oil and gas exploration on the continental shelf off the East Coast. Waters off the New Jersey Coast are included in the North Atlantic region of the project area, which stretches from the southern tip of the state to the northern tip of Maine.

Since the plan was introduced it has drawn condemnation from environmental groups and public officials up and down the Jersey Shore.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.