NJ leaders seek offshore drilling plan exemption

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's incoming and outgoing governors and the state's two U.S. senators have joined forces in a bid to get the state withdrawn from the Trump administration's plan to expand offshore drilling.

The request came in a letter sent Sunday to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It was signed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie and three Democrats -- Gov.-elect Phil Murphy and U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez.

The letter said the drilling proposal puts the state's economy and its "unique marine ecosystem" at risk.

MORE: Trump moves to vastly expand offshore drilling off US coasts

Zinke recently agreed to a request by Florida's Republican governor to withdraw from the drilling plan. Critics question why the same accommodation hasn't been made to coastal states with Democratic governors.

Tourism is a $44 billion industry in New Jersey, and its commercial fishing industry brings in $7.9 billion a year, supporting 50,000 jobs.