Virginia’s Democratic U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner announced jointly yesterday the introduction of legislation to allow oil and natural gas exploration and production off the Virginia coast. The “Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2011” would also expand the federal government’s map of the mid-Atlantic exploration area to more accurately reflect the extent of Virginia’s coastal resources, the statement said.
The bill directs half of any leasing revenues to be paid to Virginia to support a range of projects including land and water conservation efforts, development of clean energy resources, transportation and other infrastructure improvement projects in the state.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine issued statements yesterday hailing the move.