New Jersey residents sounded off Wednesday at a public hearing on an Obama administration proposal to open up the offshore waters of the Mid-Atlantic to oil drilling.
Citing fears of another Deepwater Horizon spill as was seen in the Gulf of Mexico five years ago, legislators from New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have signed a letter to the administration urging that drilling plans be canceled.
In Sea Bright, Beachwalk motel manager Drew Eastwood said an oil spill caused by drilling would be devastating.
"We are location, location, location," said Eastwood, who worried that a spill would ruin business.
After thirty years of struggle, the ocean waters off New Jersey and Long Island are among the cleanest in the nation, according to Cindy Zipf of the environmental group Clean Ocean Action.
"This is a serious threat," Zipf said, adding that oil and water do not mix. "The actual spills and the drilling and the pollution ... It's just not an acceptable industry when you're trying to thrive on a clean-ocean economy."
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is expected to make a decision within the next year or so on allowing drilling as close as 100 miles from Cape May, beginning in 2021.