Interior Suspends Offshore Drilling Hearings
In the wake of the massive Gulf Coast oil leak, the federal government has suspended indefinitely preparations for the sale of offshore leases for oil and natural-gas drilling off the Virginia coast.
Virginia was among the first on the list for public meetings on potential sales of off-shore leases as early as next year, but yesterday a spokesman for the U.S. Department of the Interior said all of that is on hold.
Murray: Our organization is pleased by this announcement…
Deborah Murray is a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville.
Murray: We think they need to go much further. The spill confirms that we need to bar drilling off of Virginia’s shore and cancel the proposed lease sale rather than just suspend it.
Congress finally lifted the bans on off-shore drilling following a summer of four dollar a gallon gasoline, but Murray says, it’s not worth it.
Murray: Just one spill, even a fraction of the size of the Gulf spill would devastate the wildlife fisheries and ecological riches of Virginia’s coasts.
Governor McDonnell, who had been a strong advocate of off-shore drilling, had no immediate comment on the suspension.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News