The following is a release from Mike Thompson, President of the Thomas Jefferson Institute:
"The Department of Interior's off-shore gas and oil development plan places Virginia in a unique position to be one of its greatest beneficiaries with increased job creation, economic growth and strengthened national security.
By developing what could be our abundant offshore resources in the Atlantic Ocean, we can fill a critical need in meeting our long-term energy needs, stabilizing energy costs and contributing to the U.S. becoming truly energy independent.
A late January Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategies survey for us asked if Virginians support off-shore drilling if it could be done in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. The answer showed drilling was supported by a 55-39% margin. The survey further showed that every region of the state supports off-shore drilling, In the Hampton Roads area, where off-shore drilling will have a largest impact, it was supported by a 55% to 41% margin. Northern Virginia was least supportive showing 50% support with 45% in opposition (full results found on our website: www.thomasjeffersoninst.org).
These results are encouraging for those who believe that America can become energy independent as well as a major supplier of critical energy needs for our allies in an increasingly dangerous world. And, as I said earlier, more supply should create pressure to keep our energy prices lower."