U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker are calling on the Obama administration to keep the Jersey Shore and the entire Atlantic Coast closed to offshore oil and gas drilling.

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The Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management has begun the process of developing its next five-year leasing program for oil and natural gas. During a press conference Wednesday in Asbury Park, Menendez said that marks the start of a perennial struggle to keep the shore safe.

"We have fought this battle before and won," said Menendez. "Four years ago, the Obama administration proposed oil drilling less than 100 miles from Cape May. Fortunately, the administration reversed their decision."

Menendez, Booker and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone have sent a letter to President Obama asking him to once again keep offshore drilling off the table for the Atlantic coastline, especially the Jersey Shore.

Menendez says our own waters are not our only problem.  "I know the two Virginia senators - they support drilling off of their state," Menendez said. "I don't support that drilling because even though it's their state, these waters flow in such a way that a spill there will make it to New Jersey."

The federal government is currently accepting public comment on the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. You can make your comments by clicking here.