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Both Sides Of The Spectrum Weigh In On Offshore Drilling

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By Jonathan Wilson

Proponents of offshore drilling along Virginia's coastline say President Obama's decision to lift the ban on oil and gas exploration in the area could pay off in a big way for the state. However, one state lawmaker says not all the economic consequences will be positive.

Delegate Bob Brink, a Democrat from Arlington, says proponents of offshore energy exploration in Virginia too often ignore how it could negatively affect industries already in the commonwealth's Tidewater area.

"Offshore drilling has a pretty big onshore component, and I don't think that would do anything to enhance either our fishing industry or our tourism industry," says Brink.

Brink also points out NASA, which has a launching facility on the Virginia Coast, has expressed concerns about safety with drilling rigs in the area.

But Delegate Dave Albo, a Republican from Springfield, says the economic benefits of drilling far outweigh any risks.

"Look at Texas, Texas is one of the very few states not getting killed in the recession. Why? Because they have energy resources," says Albo.

Virginia's Governor, Bob McDonnell, says the President's decision will mean hundreds of millions of dollars in new state revenue and thousands of new jobs.

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