WASHINGTON, D.C. — Seven members of the House of Representatives, including New Jersey’s Frank Pallone, D-6th, said Tuesday they will introduce legislation to block the Trump administration from expanding offshore drilling for gas and oil.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-2nd, said he has signed on as a co-sponsor to Pallone’s bill, which would permanently ban offshore oil and gas development in the Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Atlantic, Straits of Florida and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Van Drew expects the legislation to be introduced Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo has joined 92 other House members from both parties in opposing the…

“The bottom line is offshore drilling isn’t worth the risk,” said Van Drew, adding he still believes we need to rely on fossil fuels for a time.

But Van Drew said there isn’t enough gas and oil in the Atlantic to make it worthwhile to risk a spill and the devastation it would bring to the fishing and tourism industries on which coastal economies rely.

President Donald Trump’s administration has moved to potentially open federal waters in the Atlantic, which run from three to 200 miles out, to oil and gas exploration.

The Jersey Shore tourism industry supports more than 838,000 jobs and contributes an estimated $38 billion to the state economy, “including vibrant commercial and recreational fishing industries,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

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