VA Governor Bob McDonnell
RICHMOND - A new study released today finds that offshore production of oil and natural gas could mean 25,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth and $1.9 billion in new revenue for Virginia's state government. The study, "The Economic Benefits of Increasing U.S. Access to Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Atlantic" was jointly produced by The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). The report further indicates that Virginia will benefit significantly from the development of the outer continental shelf (OCS) with as much as $400 million a year in marine activity at the Port alone by 2035, and over $14 billion in industrial spending in the state from 2017 to 2035. Annual contributions to Virginia's economy could reach $2.2 billion by 2035.
Speaking about the report, Governor McDonnell remarked, "Throughout our Administration we have been strong supporters of a truly "all-of-the-above" energy strategy incorporating all of our domestic resources, from wind to solar to coal to nuclear to oil to natural gas. We need to develop the energy resources we possess here at home; that is how we will create new jobs, grow our economy and continue to help our nation move towards greater energy independence. Today's study is just further proof of what such a comprehensive approach to our energy issues could produce: thousands of new jobs, billions in new revenue, a stronger economy. It is time that we moved forward to responsibly develop Virginia's offshore energy resources: wind, oil and natural gas."
There is strong bipartisan support for offshore development in Virginia. The Federal government awarded Virginia with an OCS oil and gas lease sale in March of 2010 but later cancelled the sale and refused to include Virginia in the current 5-year OCS plan. The next plan is scheduled for 2017-2022.
"Virginia strongly objected to the cancellation of our lease sale and, later, the Interior Department's refusal to include us in the current plan," said Doug Domenech, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources. "We are encouraging Interior to begin the planning process for the next 5-year plan immediately and to include a sale off Virginia in the next plan."
Information on the full study can be found here: www.noia.org/TapOffshoreEnergy.
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