Congressman Scott Rigell released the following statement after yesterday's announcement by the Department of the Interior that Virginia was not included in the Final 5-Year Program for Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Development. This is the proposed final offshore oil and gas leasing program for 2012-2017, which covers leasing strategy and sales on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
"I am disappointed but unsurprised that the President has ignored the will and wisdom of a bipartisan majority of the people of Virginia who want our costal energy reserves to be harvested so that we can create more than 18,000 new jobs, bring in much needed tax revenue, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
"The Governor, Virginia's House of Delegates, the Virginia Senate, and a majority of our Congressional Delegation have all advocated harvesting Virginia's coastal energy resources.
Last week I introduced, and the House of Representatives passed, a legislative amendment to require Secretary Salazar to include Lease Sale 220 in the Five Year OCS Plan and to conduct Lease Sale 220 within one year. "I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House, and with Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner who have introduced similar legislation in the Senate, to move America toward energy security and away from dangerous reliance on foreign oil."