senator mark warner

Senators Support Oil and Gas Exploration Offshore Virginia

Rob Almeida
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May 23, 2013

“Virginia is well positioned to be a national leader in offshore energy exploration,” noted Virginia Senator Tim Kaine in a press statement yesterday.

Well no kidding.

It seems completely ridiculous that U.S. regulators would even consider allowing energy companies drill in the Arctic Ocean when relatively easy-to-reach hydrocarbon resources exist right off the shore of Virginia and California.  More importantly however, is the fact that the critical infrastructure to support such an industry already exists, or can be easily and quickly established in these areas.

Senator Kaine and his colleague Senator Mark Warner announced yesterday their reintroduction of “The Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013. ”

In a press statement, Senator Warner notes, “I have long advocated for additional exploration and the responsible production of domestic energy resources off of Virginia’s coast.  Our legislation includes appropriate environmental protections and an equitable formula for sharing revenues between the state and federal governments. I believe that changes in the membership of the Senate after the 2012 elections have helped to produce a potentially more supportive atmosphere for our legislation.”

I truly believe Senator Warner and Kaine’s support for the “The Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013” is very good news for anyone living in Virginia, and for the United States.  In the interest of full disclosure I must admit however, that I have worked in the offshore drilling industry, pre-Deepwater Horizon and have gained a significant amount of perspective from the operational side of things.

I’m not discounting the fact that the potential exists for another catastrophic blowout, but it also exists in the arctic, on land, and anywhere else in the world drilling is occurring.  The production of oil and gas has, and always will involve a certain level of risk, however should disaster strike, Virginia has the resources and manpower to deal with such an issue quickly.

Listen to Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine’s remarks:

Congress has shown support as well…

On April 26, 2013, Virginia Congressman Scott Rigell sponsored the Virginia Jobs and Energy Act (H.R. 1782) to open the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of Virginia for energy development.

Original co-sponsors of the bill include Virginia Representatives Rob Wittman (VA-1), Robert Hurt (VA-5), and Morgan Griffith (VA-9). Governor Bob McDonnell and Virginia’s U.S. Senators, both Democrats, have signaled their support for similar legislation.

On the 7th of May, this bill was referred to House subcommittee and it has subsequently been referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources chaired by Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn.

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