Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement this morning regarding The Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2011 that has been introduced by Virginia’s two United States Senators and would open up Virginia’s coast to offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production, increase the area open to that exploration and production, and provide the Commonwealth with 50% of all leasing revenues derived from offshore operations. The legislation would begin the offshore exploration and production in 2012.
“I applaud Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner for this common-sense proposal. Allowing environmentally-responsible offshore energy development off the coast of Virginia will help move our nation closer to energy independence, while bringing much needed jobs and revenue to the Commonwealth. There is strong, bipartisan support for offshore energy exploration and production in Virginia. That support is evident in this legislation, just as it was evident in the General Assembly’s passage of legislation officially declaring the position of the Commonwealth to be in favor of offshore energy development. We need more safe and reliable sources of domestic energy. We need more jobs. Utilizing our offshore oil and natural gas resources accomplishes both of these goals. I urge the United States Congress to take up this legislation immediately, and pass it swiftly. It is time we got serious about American energy security. This legislation does that. I thank the Senators for their efforts, and look forward to working with them to get this legislation passed and offshore oil and natural gas production underway in Virginia.”