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McDonnell, Cantor, Bolling want to continue to drill off Va. coast

Anita Kumar

Three of the state's top Republicans said Thursday that they were disappointed that President Obama halted plans to drill for oil and gas off Virginia's coast.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said he understood, but disagreed, with Obama's decision to cancel plans for proposed lease sales off the coast.

"I do not believe outright cancellation was the only alternative,'' he said. "It is my hope that the president's action does not signal the end of offshore energy exploration and production off Virginia in the years ahead."

Lt. Gov.Bill Bolling said he was "extremely disappointed."

"While I certainly agree that we need to learn from the accident that recently occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and take additional steps to minimize the chance of an incident of this nature occurring again, I remain convinced that offshore energy development can occur safely, and I do not believe that we should abandon or postpone responsible efforts to develop our offshore energy resources."

Cantor, the voice of his party on Capitol Hill, issued the harshest comments.

"A comprehensive energy policy and the responsible production of American-made energy has the potential to create thousands of new jobs, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and ensure our national security. In times of crisis, we need steady leadership -- not knee-jerk reactions -- and I hope the administration reconsiders this decision."

By Anita Kumar  |  May 27, 2010; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Bill Bolling , Eric Cantor , Robert F. McDonnell  | Tags: bill bolling, bob mcdonnell, drilling decision disappoints republicans, eric cantor, republicans disappointed in drilling decision  
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