Atlantic City Coast

Some New Jersey officials worry plans to lift the federal ban on ocean drilling could put Jersey Shore beaches at risk, like Atlantic City’s, above. To read excerpts of the two policies, see this story at PressofAC.com.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold New Jersey’s public meeting on proposed Atlantic Ocean offshore drilling for oil and gas Wednesday near Trenton.

President Donald Trump’s Interior Department announced in January it would begin a plan to open offshore drilling in the Atlantic from Maine to Florida, as well as off California and in the Arctic.

In a bipartisan response, legislators from East Coast states immediately and overwhelmingly came out against the plan, saying it threatened their tourism and fishing industries.

About a week later, the administration said it would not allow drilling off Florida.

The meeting will be an open-house format, with BOEM staff at stations around the room, where they will answer questions, according to the agency.

Participants can arrive any time during the meeting, BOEM said.

Those who cannot make it can also visit the Virtual Meeting Room, where participants can visit the same stations available at the open-house meetings. They can review and download the same handouts and posters offered at the meetings and provide comments, according to BOEM.

Participants can also submit written comments on BOEM’s proposed plan at the meeting or online.

Critics accused Trump of favoring Florida by exempting it from the area where offshore drilling would be allowed. It’s the state where he owns the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. They have questioned why Florida’s tourism industry is deemed more important than those of other states.

The administration has said Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott had convinced them Florida’s coastal tourism industry was singularly important to the state, needing special protection from the possibility of an oil spill.

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Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost Facebook.com/EnvironmentSouthJersey

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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