Op/ed: Exploring our Offshore Energy Resources

Daily Press | Former Dels. Winsome Earle Sears and Mike Watson | June 19, 2018

As long as Virginia’s families, small businesses, and our military depend on oil and natural gas as a way to power our lives, it is important to know what resources are available to us.

Having represented the Hampton Roads region as delegates in the Virginia General Assembly, we want to see the region, and our commonwealth, prosper for generations to come. We encourage the research and development of alternative-renewable energy and expect it to factor increasingly in our energy strategy, yet oil and natural gas make up 65 percent of the energy we use in this country today and as demand increases, both will remain key to our nation’s energy security. Our backgrounds — a military veteran and small business owner — give us certain perspectives on how Virginians can achieve a prospering commonwealth; affordable, reliable, energy is vital.

Virginia’s 8.47 million residents consume nearly 2.5 times as much energy as we produce ourselves. This energy deficit fuels the economies of other states and countries while Virginia stands on the sidelines, virtually disregarding our own resources.

We now have the opportunity to explore energy resources far off the coast of Virginia to update decades-old estimates of what may actually exist. We believe we should take this step and are pleased to lead Explore Offshore Virginia along with our colleagues former Sen. Jim Webb and former Secretary Jim Nicholson.

Explore Offshore is a bipartisan coalition made up of business and community leaders, local associations from all backgrounds and from all across the commonwealth who support safe, reliable and affordable energy development.

Read the full op-ed here.