New Jersey leaders seek offshore drilling plan exemption

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TRENTON (AP) - New Jersey's incoming and outgoing governors and the state's two U.S. senators have joined forces in a bid to get the state withdrawn from the Trump administration's plan to expand offshore drilling.

The request came in a letter sent Sunday to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It was signed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie and three Democrats - Gov.-elect Phil Murphy and U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez.

The letter said the drilling proposal puts the state's economy and its "unique marine ecosystem" at risk.

Zinke recently agreed to a request by Florida's Republican governor to withdraw from the drilling plan. Critics question why the same accommodation hasn't been made to coastal states with Democratic governors.

Tourism is a $44 billion industry in New Jersey, and its commercial fishing industry brings in $7.9 billion a year, supporting 50,000 jobs.

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