Senator Jim Webb today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of the Interior's announcement that it is taking steps to assess the conventional and renewable energy resource potential in the Mid- and South Atlantic.
"Energy exploration and subsequent production within the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf -- if coupled with an equitable formula for sharing revenues between the state and federal governments -- would boost domestic energy supplies, while benefiting the Commonwealth's economy," said Senator Webb. "Today's announcement is a step in the right direction, but further steps need to be taken to make leases available for offshore energy production. I am hopeful that the Administration will reconsider the inclusion of Virginia in its five-year lease plan."
Senator Webb has consistently called for a comprehensive approach to addressing our nation's energy needs that includes energy conservation and energy efficiency, as well as new energy production.
Senator Webb has repeatedly urged the Obama Administration to keep Virginia's Outer Continental lease sale on schedule. In July, Senator Webb and Senator Mark Warner introduced the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2011, which included revenue-sharing provisions and would expand the federal government's map of the mid-Atlantic exploration area to more accurately reflect the extent of Virginia's coastal resources. In 2008, Senator Webb cosponsored similar legislation with Republican Senator John Warner.