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O'Malley: 'Can't imagine anybody' wants Va. offshore drilling

Governor

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Friday offered his most direct criticism yet of Virginia's plan to pursue offshore drilling near the Chesapeake Bay, saying, "I can't imagine anybody actually wanting to go forward with that now, given the disaster we're now coping with as a nation in the Gulf of Mexico."

While members of O'Malley's administration and Maryland's two senators have been openly critical of Virginia's efforts, the governor had until Friday been fairly muted in his criticism after he found himself invited to the March event at which President Obama announced that he would open the door to new offshore drilling.

After the March announcement, O'Malley aides said the governor was "neutral" on the announcement, and speaking briefly to reporters, O'Malley said that he thought federal officials would "make sure they do all the preparation and research necessary to make sure they strike the appropriate balance" between energy exploration and environmental concerns.

After a month of the Gulf oil spill, O'Malley on Friday was clearly critical: "I would be opposed to any drilling off the Chesapeake Bay," he said. "I know the request by Virginia was something that would have had to have gone through a lot of review, and I daresay it's going to go through even more review now."

O'Malley went on to say that every state has to do its part to make the country greener, and "for Maryland, that responsibility comes in harvesting offshore wind." The line drew applause from assembled lawmakers and environmentalists on hand to support O'Malley's plan to block off large swaths of the bay to oyster harvesting in hopes that a network of sanctuaries would allow the population of the shellfish to begin to recover.

By Aaron C. Davis  |  May 21, 2010; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis , Governor  
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Comments

Does the state realize that offshore oil drilling usually occurs about 50 miles offshore, in federal territory? This means the state gets almost zilch from oil drilling.
Wind farms, off Md., if done correctly and environmentally safe, are one way to go. The state could also do more to promote solar power in residences and incentirves for solar power reseasrch here also.

Posted by: VikingRider | May 21, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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