Home > Uncategorized > Where Is Gov. Christie on Obama Off Shore Oil & Gas Drilling?

Where Is Gov. Christie on Obama Off Shore Oil & Gas Drilling?

After DEP Lawsuit to Block NOAA Sonic Research, Christie Administration Silent on Obama Plan

Is Christie Protecting the NJ Shore?

Or Preserving His Access To Oil & Gas Industry Presidential Campaign Cash?

Gov. Christie at the shore - (L-R - Cindy Zipf, COA, former Gov. Tom Kean (R), DEP Commissioner Martin)

Gov. Christie at the shore – (L-R – Cindy Zipf, COA, former Gov. Tom Kean (R), DEP Commissioner Martin)

It’s been a week now since we’ve been bombarded by headlines like this:

So where is Governor Christie?

Where are the coastal protection groups and shore legislators demanding that Gov. Christie step up and fight the Obama plan?

Where’s the bi-partisan letter from former Gov.’s Kean, Whitman, Byrne, Florio, & McGreevey about how bad an idea the Obama fossil plan is for the NJ shore – and the carbon constrained future of our increasingly warming planet?

Given all the Gov.’s shore promotional events, why isn’t the press hounding him for his position?

Where is the high profile press conference at the shore, with a defiant Gov. Christie standing with coastal groups and drawing a line in the sand, now that he finally has his fight with the Obama Administration on an environmental issue, a fight he welcomed during the 2009 Gubernatorial campaign (watch You Tube video of that), where the Christie candidate famously laid down the gauntlet:

I’ve got a feeling that you will see a lot of battles between the Christie Administration DEP and the Obama EPA.

(a potential fight, BTW, that the Obama EPA has run away from).

Back on March 31, 2010, before he was running for President, Gov. Christie issued a statement opposing the Obama plan:

“I oppose the idea of drilling off the coast of New Jersey,” Governor Christie said, noting that the President’s proposal thus far includes areas off Virginia and the northern tip of Delaware near Cape May in the Delaware Bay. “New Jersey’s coastline is one of our economic engines and I would have to be really convinced of both the economic viability and environmental safety of oil and gas exploration off our coast. At this point, I’m not convinced of either.’

Has he been convinced since then?

Energy industry money to fuel a run for President can be very convincing.

Gov. Christie’s current silence on the Obama plan is especially stunning, given how aggressively his DEP opposed a far less significant climate change research proposal by NOAA & Rutgers using similar seismic technology.

His DEP issued press releases and the Attorney General filed a lawsuit to block that:

The Christie Administration is taking legal action to halt a federally approved seismic ocean survey that is scheduled to start this month off the New Jersey coast, and which could adversely impact the state’s vital tourism and fishing industries, and marine life, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin announced today. […]

“We must carefully safeguard those resources, which play such a key role in our state’s $40 billion tourism industry, for the benefit of our residents, businesses and the environment,’’ Commissioner Martin said. “The Christie Administration continues to focus on clean ocean water quality, protecting our coastline and working to enhance our coastal recreation and fishing industries.”

When DEP summarily lost that legal challenge, in an unusual move, as soon as the decision came down the DEP immediately announced that the State would appeal: (DEP press release)

TRENTON – The Christie Administration will appeal today’s U.S. District Court ruling that allows seismic testing by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to move forward despite concerns raised by the State that the survey could adversely impact New Jersey’s vital tourism and fishing industries, and harm fish and marine mammals, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin said today.

“This ruling is very disappointing to the Administration, and could have a negative impact on the ocean and its wildlife,” Commissioner Martin said. “The DEP believes this research, which would use loud, powerful sound blasts to map the ocean floor, will likely have a detrimental effect on New Jersey’s fisheries and marine mammals. We must take no chances when it comes to protecting our ocean resources, our commercial and recreational fishing, and our state’s $40 billion tourism economy.  A healthy ocean is vital to our residents, our visitors, and our businesses.”

I was amazed at all the attention and opposition the NOAA/Rutgers research project got, while there was virtual silence on the far more damaging Obama BOEM sonic survey work to support off shore oil and gas development.

In addition to the DEP lawsuit, Christie Administration friendly NJ coastal advocacy groups mounted a huge campaign.

Yet, they both did NOTHING publicly to try to stop the Obama BOEM off shore oil & gas drilling work.

So, where is Gov. Christie now?

Does he oppose Obama off shore drilling?

Or is he running for President on oil & gas industry money?

We think we know the answer – and its the same for off shore LNG.

[End Note: Jim O’Neill’s Record story let Christie off the hook – see:

Governor Christie has said he opposes drilling off the New Jersey coast, and has also expressed displeasure with the thought of oil rigs off Virginia or Delaware’s coast, just miles from Cape May.

Yes, I’m sure Cindy Zipf told O’Neill that Christie “has said” that – but, as I note above, a long time ago and before he was running for President. Cindy played the same game of cover on off shore LNG, citing Christie’s prior veto.

What does he say NOW?

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  1. linc@princeton.edu
    July 25th, 2014 at 17:01 | #1

    The environmental groups and politicians ganged up on the Rutgers study because it is the low hanging fruit. No big donations from the Rutgers scientists to environmental groups or politicians. On the other hand, neither wants to mess with the big money of big oil. Easy to destroy an academic study for political gain.

  2. August 2nd, 2014 at 09:09 | #2


    Thanks you, well said, I completely agree.

    Someone had to call them out for this so I guess it had to be me.

  1. July 28th, 2014 at 20:38 | #1
  2. October 1st, 2014 at 23:14 | #2
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