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VA Environmental Groups Launch Effort To Stop Offshore Drilling

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

A Coalition of Environmental groups are pressing public officials in Virginia and the federal government to cancel plans to drill offshore.

Mike Tidwell heads the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, one of several environmental groups including the Sierra Club, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and Wetlands Watch that are trying to get 10,000 signatures asking Gov. Bob McDonnell to cancel plans to drill offshore.

"Why roll those dice; what is the reasoning for rolling those dice at all when there is not much oil, the potential for catastrophe is there, and you have the alternative of investing the same time energy and resources in offshore wind power," says Tidwell.

Deborah Murray with the Southern Environmental Law Center says the governor is out of step with nearby states.

"And we all know a spill off Virginia could affect Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey -- the governors of those states all oppose drilling because of the risk," she says.

A spokesperson for Gov. McDonnell's says he remains supportive of drilling because of it's economic potential. The governor has also said future drilling will benefit from the lessons of the Gulf spill.

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