Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell wants the federal government to get cracking on exploration for oil and natural gas off Virginia’s coast.
In a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made public today, McDonnell wrote, “A key priority for us here in Virginia is the development of the full range of energy resources, both traditional and renewable, to foster energy independence, national security and economic development.”
He said Congressional and presidential limits on development of oil and gas resources off the East Coast expired more than 15 months ago. “This cleared the way for Virginia to be the firs state on the Atlantic seaboard to explore and drill beginning in 2011. Virginia is eager to get started.”
However, the public comment period for potential lease sale of the resources ended nearly a year ago, and the federal government has taken no action. He asked Salazar to direct the U.S. Minerals Management Service “to expedite its preparatory work in support of the lease sale in 2011. The leasing process should not be further delayed.”
By Alan Cooper