Most VA Politicians Applaud Offshore Energy Announcement
March 31, 2010
By Jonathan Wilson
President Obama's decision to lift the moratorium on offshore energy exploration along Virginia's coastline -- has politicians across the aisle saying they're pleasantly surprised.
Republican Delegate Dave Albo of Springfield says he was shocked to hear the announcement from the President today.
Albo says it seems the president is sensitive to the fact that most Virginians feel differently about drilling than residents of some other states.
"He said Alaska, you guys don't want it? Fine," says Albo. "California, you don't want it. Fine. Virginia, you guys want it; you passed a bill asking for it. Fine, I'll do what I can for you."
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) says the president's decision could bring hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue, which he has argued could help support transportation funding.
Delegate Bob Brink, a Democrat from Arlington, has long been opposed to offshore drilling. He worries that many of his colleagues in Richmond are tying the state's transportation future to what is still an unknown.
"I think that we're making a huge mistake in relying on funding transportation with this source that's way down the road, if it happens at all," says Brink.
U.S. Senators Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) both applauded the president's decision.
Watch the video below for President Obama's announcement to open new areas for offshore oil and gas development:
Republican leaders in Virginia say Obama's clean energy plan would drive up energy costs and damage a struggling economy. Democrats say saving the planet is more important than the short-term problem of higher energy bills.
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