Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement in support of The Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013, cosponsored by senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. It is similar to House legislation recently proposed by U.S. Representative Scott Rigell. The legislation would expand American offshore energy production with a revised five-year leasing plan, and provide revenue sharing and would provide an alternative to the Obama Administration's proposed 2012-2017 offshore oil and gas leasing plan, which excludes Virginia.
"Since taking office, I have advocated for Virginia to become the energy capital of the East Coast through an 'all-of-the-above' approach to domestic energy production. A large piece of that formula involves the responsible exploration of available oil, natural gas and wind resources off the Virginia coast, which the federal government has blocked through its ill-conceived and illogical energy policy. I join Virginia's congressional delegation and the efforts of senators Warner and Kaine and representative Rigell to bring needed jobs to the Commonwealth and to use our God-given natural resources to reduce our nation's dependence upon unstable foreign sources of energy.
The Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013 includes appropriate environmental protections and an equitable formula for sharing revenues between the state and federal governments. By ending unnecessary restrictions on the responsible exploration of Virginia's offshore natural resources, the federal government will allow Virginia to assume its potential role as a national leader in offshore energy exploration. A comprehensive 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy - including oil, gas, wind, solar, tidal and other areas - will provide for energy security, create jobs and create revenues that Virginia can use to address our major priorities such as transportation, education and public safety.
I applaud our delegation's leadership in advocating for the responsible, safe and economically viable development of these domestic energy resources right here off of Virginia's coast, and I urge Congress to pass this important bill."