Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) released the following statement regarding the proposed final five-year oil and gas leasing plan announced by the Obama Administration today, which omits Virginia.
"I regret that the Administration failed to include Virginia in its proposed final five-year lease plan," said Senator Webb. "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 production, while benefiting the Commonwealth's economy."
Senator Webb has repeatedly urged the Obama Administration to keep Virginia's Outer Continental lease sale on schedule. In March, Senator Webb applauded the Department of the Interior's announcement that it would allow seismic surveys to determine resource potential off the coast of Virginia, and reiterated his call to move forward with oil and gas exploration. In January 2012, Senator Webb and Senator Mark Warner wrote to Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar to urge Virginia's inclusion in the Administration's Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017. In July 2011, Senators Webb and 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.
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.