Governor Bob McDonnell made the following statement today after the Department of the Interior announced 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).
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McDonnell said, "Once again, the Obama Administration has demonstrated that they will not allow the safe and responsible development of oil and gas energy resources off of Virginia's coast. Overwhelmingly, and on a bi-partisan basis, Virginia local, state and federal elected officials have supported the development of energy resources off of Virginia's coast. Offshore energy exploration and development would mean thousands of new jobs and millions in new revenue here in the Commonwealth. Virginians need the jobs and America needs the energy. Unfortunately, the plan announced today postpones any future energy development off the coast of Virginia until at least 2017. This delay is unacceptable the vast majority of the citizens of the Commonwealth. It does not help our nation move towards energy independence and it certainly does not help Virginia's workers and economy. Decisions like today's demonstrate that this Administration does not understand what our economy needs to grow and has no vision or plan for using all of America's God-given natural resources. This Administration shows no confidence in the creative and ingenious American private-sector to innovate and overcome obstacles in pursuit of energy development and job creation, nor any confidence that his own administration can safely regulate offshore drilling, which has been done for 40 years in the Gulf of Mexico. This is giving up on a job-creating industry, which is not the American way.
"I call on the administration to immediately reconsider its 2012-2017 OCS plan. And, I encourage Congress to pass legislation to compel the Interior Department to immediately move to offer oil and gas lease blocks off of Virginia."
"The President claims to have an 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy, which is now exposed as a ruse. In reality, this administration's repeated actions have been to attack the production of oil from federal lands, prevent the mining of America's vast coal reserves, and inhibit the extraction of newly discovered expansive deposits of natural gas. Together these resources offer energy security to our country and jobs to our citizens. It's time to say yes to new energy resources for our nation and good jobs for our citizens."