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Stateent on "Open Act," Bipartisan Bill to Allow Offshore Energy Development in Virginia


Location: Richmond, VA

Tim Kaine released the following statement today regarding the OPEN Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation, cosponsored by Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner, which would allow for offshore energy exploration off the coast of Virginia. It would also ensure a fair distribution of associated revenues between the state and federal government.

"As I meet with Virginians throughout the state, one of the chief complaints I hear is that we need more people in Washington who know how to work across the aisle and get things done. The OPEN Act shows that when our leaders commit to it, they can still find common ground in the Senate. This bipartisan agreement will correct a mistake made by the Department of Interior when they omitted Virginia from their five-year lease plan despite strong support from the people of Virginia and a bipartisan coalition of elected leaders. If it can be done safely, and if revenues are fairly shared between the state and federal government, Virginia should have the opportunity to pursue development of our offshore resources. Doing so would create jobs in Virginia, generate revenue, and increase our nation's energy security.

"I have long supported a true all of the above energy approach that utilizes domestic resources, including cleaner coal, natural gas, and offshore energy, while we transition to the clean energy alternatives that will power the future, like wind and solar energy. This is the approach I advanced while developing Virginia's first energy plan as governor. George Allen, on the other hand, has a career-long record of fighting to protect tax breaks and giveaways for big oil companies that don't need our help. He has consistently ridiculed alternative energy and his rejection of this important technology will leave us on the sidelines in the emerging $2.3 trillion clean energy market."

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