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McDonnell Signs Offshore Energy Bills

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Gov. Bob McDonnell has added his signature to legislation intended to further his goal of making Virginia the East Coast's energy center.

The bills signed Wednesday endorse federal efforts to develop gas and oil drilling off the Virginia coast, and direct royalties to the state's growing transportation needs. A portion would also go the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to announce his decision soon on whether the government will move forward with the sale of oil and gas leases. The triangular tract 50 miles off of Virginia has an estimated 130 million barrels of oil and 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

On the Web: Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium: http://www.vcerc.org/
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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