Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s announcement this morning that Virginia will be the first state on the East Coast to explore for and produce natural gas and oil offshore:
“Today’s decision is a significant next step in making Virginia the ‘Energy Capital of the East Coast’ and will help spur our economic recovery. It will also help Virginia address the need for improved transportation infrastructure, create thousands of new jobs and bring in hundreds of millions in desperately needed revenue for Virginia . I am confident that our offshore energy resources will become a critical economic development tool for Virginia as we move forward.
“I would like to thank President Barack Obama and Secretary Ken Salazar for allowing Virginia to move forward with the 2012 lease sale and become the first state on the East Coast to explore for and ultimately produce offshore oil and natural resources. This decision will help bring the nation closer to energy independence and provide a significant economic development and job creation boost to Virginia .
“I want to congratulate Governor McDonnell and our federal partners in the Senate and House of Representatives on their successful and tireless efforts to encourage the Obama Administration to allow the lease sale to move forward. While I am a long-time supporter of developing our offshore energy resources and active advocate to the Obama Administration to keep Virginia in the 2012 lease sale, Virginia was ultimately successful because of broad bi-partisan support from our elected officials, businesses and citizens.
“Lastly, I would like to thank Governor McDonnell, the General Assembly and other stakeholder groups for working to pass legislation in support of Virginia ’s offshore energy exploration. The legislative authorizations passed this session set the stage for the development of these resources and will help Virginia address a number of critical challenges in the future.”