Wednesday, December 1, 2010

McDonnell says offshore drilling ban irresponsible and short-sighted

RICHMOND- Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement this afternoon regarding today’s announcement by the Obama Administration that no exploration and development of offshore oil and natural gas resources off the coast of Virginia will be allowed to move forward for at least the next seven years. The Obama Administration further blocked any exploration and development of offshore oil and natural gas resources in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and off the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts during that same period.

“I am extremely disappointed that the Obama Administration has unilaterally blocked environmentally responsible, and economically crucial, offshore energy exploration and development in Virginia, along the Atlantic Coast and throughout other broad swaths of offshore territory nationwide. This is an irresponsible and short-sighted decision. It demonstrates a complete lack of confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit of American industry and its ability to fix the problems experienced in the Gulf spill, and no confidence in the ability of the U.S. government to better plan for and react to offshore emergencies. I personally relayed this message to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar during our phone conversation shortly before the announcement was made today. 

This decision comes in the midst of one of the toughest economies in our history. The cost of today’s decision will be seen in major lost job opportunities, surrendered economic growth, and increased dependence on foreign sources of energy, from nations often hostile to American interests. 

Advances in technology continue to make offshore energy production more cost effective and safe. Instead of using that technology to produce more energy in a responsible manner here at home, this Administration apparently prefers that we continue to depend more and more on oil from other nations and foreign cartels with far-less stringent environmental regulations and policies. Further, the Administration’s policy of permitting thousands of oil and gas platforms in the Gulf and Alaska, but none off the Atlantic Coast, makes no sense. Punishing an entire industry because of the actions of one company is not good policy. 

Virginians support the development of our offshore resources. They know that it would mean thousands of good paying jobs in our Commonwealth and billions in economic impact. Now, the White House has said no to that progress. They have closed the door on an industry poised to breathe new life into our economy and improve American security. This decision calls into serious question the priorities and focus of the Obama Administration. Americans want new jobs created, our economy improved, and more reliable sources of domestic energy utilized. I strongly urge the White House to reconsider this decision. We now look to our US. Senators and Congressmen, who will be playing significant leadership roles in the new Congress, to work on a legislative fix of this decision in order for Virginia to move forward on domestic energy production off our coast, and the creation of thousands of new jobs that will come with it. Left to stand, this policy will have a real, negative impact on the people of our state and this nation. It is the wrong decision at the wrong time.”

Sen. Edwards “Nay” – Del. Ware and Cleaveland”Yea” on offshore drilling

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Politics, State Politics

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