The Republican-backed measures are intended to reverse the Obama administration's decision to suspend plans to allow exploration for the first time in waters off the east coast.
Gov. Bob McDonnell has pushed hard to open waters off Virginia to oil and gas exploration. It's part of his vision to create an energy capital in Virginia.
That planned exploration was put on hold after the Gulf oil disaster.
Glen Besa of the Sierra Club says the nation should be investing in public transportation and vehicles that use alternative fuels, not oil and gas exploration.