Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today regarding the United States House of Representatives passage of the Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan, as well as introduction in the United States Senate of the Offshore Petroleum Expansion Now Act of 2012 (OPEN Act). Both bills add lease sale 220 off the coast of Virginia to the revised five-year plan.
"America is in need of a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy strategy that will secure our energy future and grow domestic energy production. I applaud the United States House of Representatives for supporting, in a bipartisan manner, legislation which will open up Virginia's waters to offshore drilling. I also applaud the United States Senate on introducing, with bipartisan support, the Offshore Petroleum Expansion Now Act of 2012 (OPEN Act). For too long, President Obama has said no to expanding offshore drilling, a vital energy source that will create jobs and help drive energy costs down nationwide. That is why I am pleased that the House of Representatives today passed H.R. 6082, which replaces the proposed five-year plan with one that includes a sale off Virginia's outer continental shelf. I encourage the Senate to pass the OPEN Act, which provides a common-sense alternative to the president's proposed 2012-2017 offshore plan and includes Virginia's proposed sale. Additionally, I thank Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb for their leadership on this issue. These actions show that Congress is united in a bipartisan manner to reject and replace the President's plan with one that creates thousands of new jobs and makes America more energy secure, and includes lease sale 220 off the coast of Virginia."
The U.S. House of Representatives today rejected H.R. 6168, a bill to implement President Obama's offshore drilling plan that places 85 percent of America's offshore energy resources under lock-and-key. The House then approved H.R. 6082, to replace President Obama's plan with a robust energy plan that offers 29 lease sales in areas known to contain the most oil and natural gas resources, including Virginia, to create tens of thousands of new jobs and increase American energy production. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today introduced bipartisan legislation to expand American offshore energy production with a revised five-year leasing plan and provide revenue sharing to all participating coastal states. The Offshore Petroleum Expansion Now Act of 2012 - OPEN Act - is co-sponsored by senators Jim Webb, D-Va.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.
The Obama Administration announced its proposed 2012-2017 offshore lease plan on June 28. According to federal law, it is now undergoing a mandatory 60-day congressional review. As part of that review, the House of Representatives acted today to make clear that the President's plan is unacceptable and that it should be replaced with the environmentally responsible plan of H.R. 6082.