Letter: Congress, don’t ban Virginia’s potential

The Virginian-Pilot | Letter to the Editor | September 11, 2019

I’ve lost count of the reports reminding us that 40% of Hampton Roads’ economic activity is dependent on defense spending, as well as the need to diversify our economy. I am grateful for our military and its presence in Hampton Roads, yet the fact remains, Virginia is one sequestration away from a significant economic downturn, and little has been done to improve our long-term position. Fortunately, we have an opportunity to attract high-wage industries and create up to 25,000 jobs through offshore energy exploration.

Businesses thrive on certainty, and access to affordable, reliable energy is critical to nearly every industry. Through new, safe exploration technology, we can turn potential resources into known reserves to deliver the confidence these industries seek while strengthening our diplomatic standing and national security.

Bills have been introduced in Congress to permanently ban offshore natural gas and oil production in the Atlantic, Pacific and parts of the Gulf of Mexico. These would erase current and prospective jobs, weaken our security and threaten America’s future access to affordable energy. With the average Virginian household spending about $5,000 annually on energy for their homes and cars, and with 80% living paycheck-to-paycheck, can we afford restrictive energy policies that raise that cost by 10-20% or more?

Read the full LTE here.

National Ocean Industries Association
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