Coastal Drilling In Virginia Sees Growing Support | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Coastal Drilling In Virginia Sees Growing Support

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This week, the Virginia Beach chapter of the NAACP threw its support behind a plan to open up the waters off the state's coast to oil and gas drilling.

Virginia's two Democratic senators also support the plan, as do the state's Republicans lawmakers. But even with the groundswell of support, this bipartisan group still has to overcome a federal moratorium on coastal drilling put in place by the Obama administration.

Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va. is a lead sponsor of the effort in the House. He says the White House is blocking job creation.

"I think about the 1,800 jobs," he says. "I think about how each one is a life changing job. There are people hurting in the Commonwealth, within Virginia's second congressional district."

The moratorium is in place for five years. Under Rigell's plan, the state would receive more than 35 percent of the revenue from drilling. His plan passed the House last session, but the Senate never acted. Rigell hopes support from the state's senators will increase pressure on the Senate and the White House to act.

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