The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Tom Fry issued the following statement on Feb. 23 in response to the Virginia State Senate’s passage of a Virginia State House Bill supporting energy development off the State’s Coast:
“The National Ocean Industries Association applauds yesterday’s vote in the Virginia State Senate supporting energy development off the State’s Coast. The vote, backed by Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA), demonstrates a strong bipartisan commitment by the Commonwealth to allow OCS exploration off its coast and actively work with Congress and the Administration to move forward with OCS Lease Sale 220.
“Over the past five years, political leaders in Virginia’s State House, the Governor’s mansion and among the delegation in Congress have repeatedly expressed a desire to see the offshore energy resources of their state opened to development. Yesterday’s Senate vote is the latest in a series of pushes for offshore exploration, including a January statement from U.S. Senators Jim Webb (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) and a December letter from then Governor-elect McDonnell calling on Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to expedite steps for exploration and development of offshore oil and gas resources in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Virginia could be the first area of the Atlantic OCS formerly under moratorium to be leased in nearly 30 years, making it the leader in offshore energy development on the East Coast. Offshore leases in Virginia would provide new jobs, new federal and state revenue, and new energy for America.
“NOIA encourages Governor McDonnell and the Virginia Assembly to continue to press for timely permitting of the much-needed energy resources off their state’s shores, and for the completion of the already-scheduled Lease Sale 220.”