NJ leaders pan Obama's off-shore drilling plan

(AP) - Top New Jersey officials are panning President Barack Obama's plan to open the South Atlantic coast tooil and natural gas exploration and offshore drilling.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenbergand Robert Menendez, both Democrats, issued statements denouncingthe idea shortly after Obama made the announcement Wednesday.

Environmental groups in the state also denounced it.Christie said New Jersey's coastline "is one of our economicengines" and said he had both economic and environmental safetyconcerns.

Menendez said the administration should be focused on renewableenergy sources and called Obama's plan "fundamentally wrong as anenergy policy."

Lautenberg voiced concerns about potential spills.

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