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Obama Pushed To Ban Drilling In Atlantic Ocean Permanently

LONG BRANCH, NJ (CBS) -- There's a call from the Jersey shore to President Obama to take permanent action to protect the Atlantic seacoast before he leaves office in January.

The state's two US Senators, Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, were flanked by other politicians and environmental activists along the beach in Long Branch to make one last, urgent plea before Donald Trump takes over.

"The Atlantic Ocean and the shoreline along New Jersey and other states is too precious to be put at risk," Menendez told KYW Newsradio.

"And so we're asking President Obama to use his authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently ban drilling on the Atlantic Ocean"

Mister Obama imposed a 5 year ban on oil and gas exploration last March. But Menendez points to the law dating back to 1953 that gives a President the ability to go further.

"It is the intention of the law to allow a president to permanently withdraw any of the national lands from oil and drilling," he said.

Fears are a President Trump or someone else might allow for drilling at some point. That could threaten not only the environment but tourism which, in New Jersey's case, amounts to 38 billion dollars a year to the state's economy.

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