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McDonnell still optimistic about drilling off Virginia's coast

Anita Kumar

We knew how much Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) wanted to drill for oil and natural gas off Virginia's coast. But what we didn't know was how optimistic he still is that drilling will happen -- despite the April 20 Gulf of Mexico accident and President Obama's subsequent ban on drilling in the Atlantic.

McDonnell told reporters he still thinks that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will change his mind on the moratorium once some changes have been implemented.

"We will learn from Louisiana. We will have additional federal regulations. We will have new technology,'' he said. "Once we get some of those things fixed, I hope the secretary of the interior will get the environmental impact statement back on track..Then we can move forward."

Companies were scheduled to start bidding on contracts to conduct exploratory drilling in Virginia's waters by early 2012. Obama put that on indefinite hold with his decision last month. (McDonnell said a federal judge's decision yesterday to issue an injunction blocking Obama's six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling will not affect the broader ban in Virginia.)

"With catastrophes, we innovative, we investigate, and then we fix problems and then we get things back on track,'' McDonnell said. "And I expect that's the same thing that will happen here. Will it all take place in time for the 2012 lease sale in Virginia? I hope so. I'm not sure."

McDonnell, who has made offshore drilling one of his administration's top priorities, has said that drilling would create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue in Virginia.

"With so much of the American economy depending on petroleum products, we'd be foolish to let all these offshore resources be idle and in due course I hope it will get back on track,'' he said.

By Anita Kumar  |  June 23, 2010; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

Would Gov. McDonnell be willing to reconsider his position if the Gulf well is still gushing in 2012? The insanity is his continued focus on jobs, taxes and the inferred proposition that America has no choice but remain dependent on oil verses the fact that the Gulf of Mexico could quite possible become a petroleum lagoon, devoid of marine life with its oily fingers of devastation extending up the east coast even into the Chesapeake Bay. A nightmare scenario that should at least give a prudent and thoughtful man pause,if not second thoughts.

Posted by: slim2 | June 23, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Ol' Bobby may still be on the drill, baby, drill track but I think one of his (former) supporters, the mayor of Virginia Beach, has changed his mind - maybe because he was lying awake at night thinking about globs of oil on those Virginia Beach beaches, and Beach Closed signs. He has all summer to compare and contrast the beaches of the Gulf with the beaches of Virginia Beach.

Posted by: cmckeonjr | June 24, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The Virginia Governor - the gift that just keeps on giving. Each time he opens his mouth waste material flow out. Thank you voters of Virignia for giving us something to chuckle about.

Posted by: cougartonyusa | June 24, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

"with better government regulatoins.." The Quote of the Century! Coming from a Republican Pary that Hates and despises any form of regulation, this clown and his sidekick Cookoonelli, are asking for more regulations to continue the drilling quest. These republicons redefine the definition of insanity!

Posted by: bam1969 | June 24, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Of course he's still for it. He won't be around to be held accountable when things go wrong, and he has the GOP thought process: look back or stay the course. The GOP doesn't seem to be able to look forward and make adjustments. They're in the pockets of 19th century industries, oil and coal.

Posted by: jckdoors | June 24, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

How does VA get "millions of dollars" in tax revenue off of this? I thought royalties go to the federal govt. Please advise.

Posted by: rjma1 | June 24, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell is just a right wing talking head for the oil and gas industry. He is an embarrassment to the state of VA. Where else could a flunky from a D rated school be governor?

Posted by: moemongo | June 24, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell is just a right wing talking head for the oil and gas industry. He is an embarrassment to the state of VA. Where else could a flunky from a D rated school be governor?

Posted by: moemongo | June 24, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

He still doesn't get it. If the catastrophe that we are witnessing now had taken place off the coast of Virginia, the economy and the environment for the Commonwealth would be devastated. Virginia would not grow from that. McDonnell is just plain wrong.

Posted by: mbc1954 | June 24, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

we are on the brink of cheap, sustainable alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal and yet this clown wants to risk global catastrophe so his oil buddies can rake in some cheap bucks.

toss this loser out before he ruins the whole east coast.

Posted by: MarilynManson | June 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of what is desired, oil is here to stay for at least the next fifty years, if not longer. Nothing exists re an effective and efficient implementation and distribution of an alternative energy source to oil. Consequently, we do need on/off shore oil supply here in this country. As to regulations, they do exist but are needed to be implemented by government employees who have the necessary expertise, are competent, held accountable and are not interferred with when performing their job. Also, proven tunnell drilling techniques from the shore out to the seabed that contain the oil are now available. This would ensure the protection of our beaches and wildlife.

Posted by: rvallone24 | June 24, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

i don't care what he does, but he needs to find funding for Northern Virginia's transportation infastructure...

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 24, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

i don't care what he does, but he needs to find funding for Northern Virginia's transportation infastructure...

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 24, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

If Virginia needs more cheap energy, all it needs to do is to hook up a collection pipe to each end of Bob McDonnell's alimentary canal. We'll have all the gas we can use.

Posted by: angelos_peter | June 24, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Oil is a great commodity: energy dense, and easily transported. Sun, wind, etc are the opposite: diffuse, not transportable, and difficult to store. Why anyone thinks they will replace oil is beyond me.

Posted by: bruce18 | June 24, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell illustrates perfectly the ostrich-like worldview of the GOP. Oil is non-renewable and there is only so much of it. You can drill now but it isn't going to solve the energy crisis. That is because the crisis is due to the scarcity of oil and, duh, the fact that it's non-renewable. That, along with the Palin palm that has only so much space to write notes, means the gov'nah of Virginia prefers to stick his meat head into the sand and ignore the obvious: oil companies can drill into the sea bed but if something goes wrong they cannot fix it. We need intelligence and vision--something completely lacking in the GOP.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | June 24, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The problem in the Gulf was it was in deep water and BP cut a number of corners to make drilling it unsafe. But there are still thousands of underwater wells running everyday working fine. After 9/11 we didn't groud all airlines forever.. we changed what we had to and starting flying again. McDonnell is right.. fix what went wrong so it won't happen again and move on...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 24, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

you can always tell who the republicans are by their posts. republicans have no desire whatsoever to stop using fossil fuels.

they just can't see past the end of their noses.

drill pigs drill

Posted by: strictly_liberal | June 24, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

we are on the brink of cheap, sustainable alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal and yet this clown wants to risk global catastrophe so his oil buddies can rake in some cheap bucks.
Posted by: MarilynManson
______
Really and which of those three does your car run on??? There is over 250,000,000 cars in this country that need gas to run on. You have a plan how to replace them? and that doesn't include planes and ships.. so unless you think we are going back to sailing ships and hot air balloons i believe you are full of hot air...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 24, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

you can always tell who the republicans are by their posts. republicans have no desire whatsoever to stop using fossil fuels. they just can't see past the end of their noses. drill pigs drill
Posted by: strictly_liberal
_____
Well you can tell liberal posts because they seem to deny living in the real world. Bottomline unless you always walk or ride a bike your no different than us. Way I see it you can't call yourself a vegetarian if you eat meat.. and you can't say you are against fossil fuel if you drive in a car or fly in a plane...

Posted by: sovine08 | June 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Gov. McDonnell just don't get it. The blowout valves don't for deep water drilling. And the navy says HELL NO.
Untill a new valve system is tested and works, forget it.

Posted by: jjgrah | June 24, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Gov. McDonnell just don't get it. The blowout valves don't work for deep water drilling. And the navy says HELL NO.
Untill a new valve system is tested and works, forget it.

Posted by: jjgrah | June 24, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The fact that this Jesus-freak "Macaca" disciple was elected tells the world that Virginia is still an "I support lynching" dominion.

Posted by: perryneheum | June 24, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

FAUX Breaking News: Oil, Gas and Chemical companies complain that not allowing them to Poison Local Communities and their Water Supplies will force them to curtail hiring.

Coming to the East Coast: Hydraulic Fracturing JOBS uses Hundreds of Chemicals and Poisons that are Killing whole communities in Colorado and Wyoming. Hydraulic Fracturing’s resulting Briny and Chemical-laden drilling wastewater is allowed to Contaminate Water supplies by Pumping and Seeping into Regional Waterways.

The Halliburton Loophole in the 2005 Energy Act exempts Hydraulic Fracturing from the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and a host of other protections. Now Drillers are bringing their poisons to Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other states.

Oil, Gas and Chemical companies complain that not allowing them to Poison Local Communities and their Water Supplies will force them to curtail hiring; Sounds a lot like the Offshore Drilling argument.

Hydraulic Fracturing creates Hundreds to Thousands of Poisonous Ponds in every Region where it's been done. Unfortunately Virginia's GOP Tea Party and Oil loving governor will let them Poison the People of Virginia so he can make a few bucks.

Watch Out Southwestern Virginia. If you live in a community with Natural Resources, With Water, Wildlife and Seafood and.....Gas.....Hydraulic Fracturing Poisons is coming your way. You can forget about having Clean Water but at least you'll have a Job for as long as it's takes to Poison your Family and the surrounding Wildlife. Enjoy the JOBS.

You could be Milking Millions of Royalties Annually from Windmills but we know that's not allowed by your GOP and Tea "Oil & Coal" Party Masters.

Posted by: liveride | June 24, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell is in BP and Halliburton’s pocket at the expense of Virginia's Multi-Billion Tourism and Commercial Fishing Industries, not to mention our Environmental Beauty and Resources. The GOP Drill-Baby-Drill and Tea Party folks are funded by Koch Industries which is responsible for Hundreds of Oil spills across multiple states.

An Offshore Drilling accident is the Risk McDuckell and Kookinelli envision for the coast of Virginia as they would endanger our multi-billion tourism and fishing industries, as well as disrupt Navy military operations.

Gulf Coast Drill-Baby-Drillers could have prevented the Disaster. Could have required Drillers use Relief Wells, have Emergency Disaster Equipment and Manpower, have 3rd party Insurance, have Remote Acoustic Triggers, Employ Safety and Maintenance Tech's to perform frequent Inspection and Maintenance to Blow-Out preventers, have Certified USA made Drilling Rigs.....But No.....They Fought Tooth and Nail against this so BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips could Save Money, Employ Less People, Violate their leases and Murder people, Wildlife, Sealife, Clean Water, Tourism and Commercial Fishing Industries.….Oh well, Too Late for them…...Virginia…...Next Up.

Posted by: liveride | June 24, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

In Fairfax county High School parking lots look like Beverly Hills 90210 while Teacher and Police parking lots look like Hoopteville. Cell phone service is $30~$80/month, Cable TV is $35~$150/month, land line phones are $30~$80/month, movie tickets are $12~$15ea, a case of Budweiser is $20, two drinks at a Pub is $10~15, etc.

Most people pay these bills without thinking but some go into rages when your country asks you to contribute $10/month for domestically produced Energy and Oil to create Jobs in Virginia and replace Middle Eastern Oil; or to contribute $1/month to support Community Parks that in turn raise property values and reduce crime.

The VA GOP is in lockstep complaining “people are hurting in these tough economic times” while Goose Stepping on the Unemployed and people in most dire need. Their agenda is to protect those with great Jobs and Benefits from making any extra contributions to society. They bring guns to State parks to Intimidate women and children and Scream for even more tax breaks so they can buy more Televisions, BMW’s, Lexus, Acura’s, Mercedes and other Luxury vehicles and products that are so very common in Fairfax county.

VA workers receive $118 Billion a year in Government spending but the state refuses to raise taxes enough to pay for basic infrastructure improvements. Instead it fights for even more government handouts while complaining about government regulations that Preserves, Conserves and Protects people and resources.

Despite Massive Federal Support for VA Workers, the Wealthiest Hypocrites love to complain while others are Starving, Recently Unemployed or Risking their lives Fighting in the Middle East. Cry me a River.

Virginia's love-hate relationship with federal spending

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/05/AR2010050505205.html

Posted by: liveride | June 24, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Marilyn - "we are on the brink of cheap, sustainable alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal and yet this clown wants to risk global catastrophe so his oil buddies can rake in some cheap bucks."

We are no closer to cheap sustainable solar, wind, geo than we are to cheap sustainable power from fusion or power from magical unicorn flatulance.

Greens and liberals constantly assert we are on the verge of magically not needing oil or fossil or nuclear, have asserted this for 40 years - but this is more an effort to propagandize than tell the public the truth.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | June 24, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

My fellow Virginians are easily fooled by smirky good looks, and open faced lies. Most have never read anything other than the local newspaper, watch Fox news which dominates the airwaves. Many live on subsidies and government handouts, such as the ones for farming, for land use and a host of others, while calling democrats "parasites".

To them hoochi-Coochi, and Mickey-D are seen as honest God fearing Virginian gentlemen, instead of the true, biblethumping politicians, bought and sold by mega corporations.

They see the $50,000 dollar bribe by Northrup Grummond as having no effect on Mickey-D's decision to extend this company's billion dollar IT contract by years and adding millions of dollars in extra payments, despite Northrup -Grumman being legally and morally in default on the original contract's terms.

In New Jersey He would have faced a Judge and possible prison time, In Virginia, 63 percent thinks he is Presidential material.

With his unwavering support of the oil industry, Mickey-D once again shows how money talks, and how cheaply Virginians can be bought.

As voters are we Virginians stupid, or what!

And Now, the Virginia GOP is parading the Racist George Allen as a possible Senatorial candidate.- Backed by Mama grizzly no less.

Posted by: maxtor0 | June 24, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

My fellow Virginians are easily fooled by smirky good looks, and open faced lies. Most have never read anything other than the local newspaper, watch Fox news which dominates the airwaves. Many live on subsidies and government handouts, such as the ones for farming, for land use and a host of others, while calling democrats "parasites".

To them hoochi-Coochi, and Mickey-D are seen as honest God fearing Virginian gentlemen, instead of the true, biblethumping politicians, bought and sold by mega corporations.

They see the $50,000 dollar bribe by Northrup Grummond as having no effect on Mickey-D's decision to extend this company's billion dollar IT contract by years and adding millions of dollars in extra payments, despite Northrup -Grumman being legally and morally in default on the original contract's terms.

In New Jersey He would have faced a Judge and possible prison time, In Virginia, 63 percent thinks he is Presidential material.

With his unwavering support of the oil industry, Mickey-D once again shows how money talks, and how cheaply Virginians can be bought.

As voters are we Virginians stupid, or what!

And Now, the Virginia GOP is parading the Racist George Allen as a possible Senatorial candidate.- Backed by Mama grizzly no less.

Posted by: maxtor0 | June 24, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Not only are Obama and the Interior Department telling McDonnell and the Drill-Baby-Drill crowd that the Virginia coast is off-limits to drilling; so is the US Navy. In fact, it's the Pentagon's veto that explains Obama taking VA off the list of approved East Coast drilling sites.

The Navy's objection is simply that festooning the waters off the mouth of the Chesapeake with oil-drilling platforms will get in the way of military operations outside the world's biggest naval base, as well as a vital commercial shipping waterway linking the ports of Baltimore and Hampton Roads with the outside world. (Think of all that West Virginia and Kentucky coal going out through Newport News/Norfolk.) All kinds of naval drills are conducted in these waters, including gunnery practice and flying jets onto and off carriers.

Besides, the channels going through the mouth of the Chesapeake are actually quite narrow, with little room for maneuver (or error). Imagine dealing with a Gulf-type spill in that environment. There are no naval bases at the mouth of the Mississippi, of course.

The Navy's veto is absolute, and nothing that pipsqueak McDonnell says or does is going to change that. Well, I suppose Virginia could try seceding again--but that didn't work out so well the last time, even with Robert E. Lee in command.

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