McDonnell Disappointed With Offshore Drilling Moratorium
Yesterday U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the U.S. will not allow any offshore drilling for oil or natural gas off the Atlantic Coast for at least seven years. Craig Carper reports.
The new drilling policy also prohibits the expansion of drilling into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and will allow only limited exploration off the coast of Alaska, but will permit existing offshore operations to continue in the gulf.
Governor Bob McDonnell, who has been a major proponent of bringing offshore drilling to the Commonwealth, said he was extremely disappointed with the Obama administration’s decision.
McDonnell: It’s the wrong decision at the wrong time. This is an industry that could promote a great deal of job creation, economic growth, a great new industry for the citizens of Virginia, for the port and at this time, when we’re experiencing a significantly high unemployment rate, it’s just the wrong decision.
McDonnell said he intends to speak with members of Virginia’s Congressional delegation to find ways to legislatively override the decision.
Even if new drilling were permitted, in order for Virginia to collect royalties from offshore oil production, federal law would need to be changed, something to which inland states strongly object.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square