Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-07) issued the following statement regarding the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today, which does not include Virginia:
"Today's decision by the Department of the Interior to exclude Virginia from the five-year offshore lease plan is extremely disappointing. While the Obama Administration continues to put up roadblocks to domestic energy development, the House of Representatives has passed several bills to maximize energy production here at home, including the "Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act,' which would require the Administration to move forward with Virginia's Lease Sale 220.
"Offshore energy exploration and development in the Commonwealth has bipartisan support and would help put Virginians back to work, generate millions of dollars in revenue, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I strongly encourage President Obama and Secretary Salazar to reconsider including Virginia in the proposed five-year plan so we can move forward with offshore drilling in a safe and responsible way that will utilize American technology, innovation and create jobs."