Environmental advocates oppose Trump offshore drilling plan

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A group of advocates and New Jersey’s governor-elect are opposing a plan by the Trump administration to allow offshore drilling off the coast of New Jersey.

If approved, the federal plan would allow oil drilling in 90 percent of coastal areas on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.

Gov.-elect Phil Murphy announced his opposition to the plan Friday at a media event at McCloone’s Pier House along the Jersey Shore.

“This is just a huge giveaway to big oil and gas companies,” Murphy says. “It runs counter to our values and endangers our most precious natural resource.”

Environmental activists say that if offshore drilling is allowed, New Jersey could see offshore oil rigs just 3 miles off the shoreline. They say that the beach could be ruined if there is an oil spill. 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that the plan would increase federal revenue by $15 billion.

Monmouth Beach fisherman Brad Alcini tells News 12 New Jersey that offshore drilling can create new micro-habitats for fish, if there is no spilling.

“If it’s done the right way, on a serious note, I think that’s good. And we should be looking at doing that more because we don’t want to be reliant on foreign oil, especially from the Middle East, because that’s not good for us as a country,” Alcini says.

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott also criticized the plan and called on President Donald Trump to reconsider.

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