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“Oil and water do not mix,” testified Pace Law alum, Sean Dixon

Sean Dixon (JD ’09, LLM ’10) testified before the Congressional House Committee on Natural Resources, speaking out against HR 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act. Dixon, speaking on behalf of the environmental organization Clean Ocean Action (COA), highlighted the impact the bill would have on businesses along the Atlantic shoreline.

“Over the long history of the New York/New Jersey region, we have learned that the ocean does not mix with toxins, medical waste, or acid waste at least not if the goal for the region is one of robust fisheries and packed beaches. In the wake of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, we re-learned the lesson that oil and water do not mix,” reads an excerpt from his testimony.

Dixon is the Coastal Policy Attorney for COA, a broad-based coalition of 125 different organizations. Based in Highlands, New Jersey, COA seeks to improve and protect the waters along the New York-New Jersey coast. In an email to Pace Law, Dixon shared that HR 2231 would open much of the Atlantic Ocean to oil drilling, and limit the review of oil and gas production decision-making by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that was signed into law in 1970.

The House of Representatives ultimately passed the bill, with voting breaking mostly along party lines. Six Republicans joined with the Democrats in opposing the expansion of oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Five of those Republicans are from the New Jersey delegation.

“I was honored to be called down to D.C. to represent the interests of the Atlantic Ocean economies—from fishing to tourism and commerce—that would be disrupted by expanded offshore oil drilling,” said Dixon in his email.

Before joining COA, Dixon served as a fisheries observer on commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Strait and the Gulf of Alaska. He also spent two years as a lecturer at Yale University, teaching courses on ocean and coastal policy and marine resource management. While at Pace Law School, Dixon earned a Certificate in Environmental Law, participating in the joint degree program with Yale University School of Forestry. He also earned an LLM degree in Climate Change from Pace Law.