Governor Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed 13 pieces of legislation that will advance Virginia as the "Energy Capital of the East Coast" today in Richmond. The legislation continues Governor McDonnell's "all of the above" strategy for advancing development of Virginia's energy resources. In signing this legislation and working with industry and stakeholder groups, this year's energy agenda is the most comprehensive to date in the McDonnell administration.
Speaking about today's bill signing, Governor McDonnell said, "Virginia is the energy capital of the East Coast and we have a head start compared to other states. We have sustained winds off of the Atlantic coast, bountiful coalfields in southwestern Virginia, rich natural gas deposits along with some of the top scientists and research institutions in the world. We must work with industry and stakeholder groups to continue to aggressively work to harness these energy resources to provide affordable and reliable energy to our families and businesses. This year's legislative package strengthens and adds flexibility to the expansion of our energy infrastructure, which is a key component in attracting new economic development and jobs to the Commonwealth. It also supports the expansion of alternative energy resources and positions Virginia to lead in adoption and development of these important alternatives."
"We will continue to develop all of Virginia's energy resources, even as we encounter roadblocks from a federal government that professes similar goals but has failed to follow up with actions," continued Governor McDonnell. "The Department of the Interior cancelled Virginia's scheduled offshore lease sale for 2011, pushing any possible lease sales to 2018. This was the wrong decision and it left private capital that could be invested in expanding our domestic energy resources on the sidelines at a time when private investment in business expansion and job creation is so urgently needed to heal our ailing economy. Virginia will continue to work to eliminate bureaucratic impediments to the responsible development of all of our domestic energy resources. Greater domestic energy production means more good paying jobs for our citizens."
Senator John Watkins said, "Virginia is blessed with both an abundance of natural and physical energy resources and a community of innovators who continually search for new ways to develop and use those resources more efficiently. This legislative session, Republicans and Democrats in the legislature helped pass important measures that will allow us to move forward in further developing all of our domestic energy resources and new technologies to unlock those resources."
Delegate Jackson Miller said, "Virginia must pursue a diverse, 'all of the above' energy strategy to meet our future demands. House Bill 1102 will spur the research and development that is needed to make renewable and alternative energies competitive for the future, and bring more jobs and investment to the Commonwealth today."