UPDATED: Democrat Warner opposes Obama's Va. coastal drilling ban
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner said Wednesday that he agrees with Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) in opposing President Obama's decision to restrict oil and gas drilling off the coast of Virginia for the next seven years.
"Mid-Atlantic coastal oil and gas production does not represent a 'silver bullet' solution to our energy challenges, and while it is appropriate to take the time to incorporate lessons learned from the Gulf disaster, Senator Warner sees no reason to delay this process for what realistically could be another seven years or more,'' Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said.
McDonnell is calling for the White House to reconsider its decision and for the Virginia congressional delegation to work toward a possible solution.
"Senator Warner will continue to work with Governor McDonnell and other state and local officials, as well as the bipartisan Virginia delegation, to explore ways to re-examine this decision," Hall said.
Obama announced in March that Virginia would become one of the first East Coast states to drill offshore for oil and natural gas. But that changed after the BP oil spill.
UPDATED: Longtime drilling opponent U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has taken the opposite position from both Warner and McDonnell--siding with the administration's decision to keep its Atlantic coast drilling ban in place. Read Moran's statement after the jump.
Statement from Moran:
"I offer my praise for the new revised OCS drilling plan. It clearly reflects the lessons learned from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster and recognizes the inherent risks of drilling in environmentally restricted areas and where economic and national security interests are in conflict. The Defense Department has expressed strong reservations about drilling off Virginia's coast, finding it incompatible with military operations and readiness. With this action by the Secretary, no drilling will occur off the Mid-Atlantic and Virginia through 2017.
"The announcement confines new drilling to areas adjacent to where drilling is already established and where the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and the oil and gas industry should be concentrating their resources to ensure another BP disaster is avoided."
"I have long opposed drilling offshore, and included a congressional moratorium in the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that was approved by the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which I chair, on July 22, 2010. I also remain concerned that drilling in the Arctic, given its severe weather conditions and remote location, will challenge the credibility of any oil spill response plan. I will continue to cast a critical eye on any new plans in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea."
"We will never achieve energy independence by drilling for more oil on land or at sea - even if we open up every restricted area to drilling. To pursue such a reckless policy only advances the day we exhaust our limited reserves and undermines our effort to transition to cleaner and more sustainable alternative sources of energy."
| December 1, 2010; 4:52 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar, Mark Warner, Robert F. McDonnell
Save & Share: Previous: Updated: Obama administration restricts drilling off Virginia's coast
Next: McDonnell's reform commission recommends 133 proposals
Posted by: franko2 | December 1, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kayla1025 | December 1, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: GreenRich | December 2, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dagrubb824 | December 2, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: annnort | December 2, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse