Scott Rigell 5 13

House Bill Calls for Drilling
Off Coast of Virginia

U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) has introduced the Virginia Jobs and Energy Act (H.R. 1782) to open the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Virginia for energy development. Original cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Robert Hurt (R-Va.), and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.). Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the state’s U.S. Senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, both Democrats, have signaled their support of similar legislation.

“The Virginia Jobs and Energy Act will bring Hampton Roads new jobs and new energy,” said Rigell. “This legislation can produce as many as 18,000 local jobs while moving America away from its dangerous reliance on foreign oil. This translates into funds that could be used to improve local schools, fund transportation projects, and restore the Chesapeake Bay while diversifying the local economy.”

In addition to mandating Lease Sale 220 be conducted within one year, the act requires at least one additional lease sale to be included within the Virginia Lease Sale Planning Area in each subsequent five-year leasing plan. It also hastens the process for offshore renewable energy development such as wind. The bill provides for revenue sharing with coastal states off whose shores oil, gas, and wind energy is harvested, and fast tracks the process for developing renewable energy sources, like wind, off the Virginia coast. The act also stipulates that no lease may be conducted that would conflict with U.S. military operational requirements.

“I believe development of offshore resources will be beneficial to Virginia’s economy and our nation’s energy security,” said Sen. Kaine (D-Va.). “I look forward to working with Representative Rigell, Senator Warner, and the rest of the Virginia delegation on advancing this priority in Congress.” Gov. McDonnell echoed that support. “I applaud Congressman Rigell for his ongoing leadership on this crucial issue. The responsible development of Virginia’s offshore energy resources will mean more jobs in Hamption Roads and throughout the commonwealth, and another step toward greater energy security for our nation. There is strong bipartisan support for offshore energy production in Virginia, and I thank Scott Rigell for standing up for more jobs and energy here at home.”