Friends and Neighbors,
Last week the Administration announced it was drafting a programmatic environmental impact statement to “inform future decisions about whether, and if so where, energy leasing would be appropriate off of Virginia’s coast,” according to a press release from the Department of the Interior.
But the announcement was not news – it was a classic Washington head fake. Energy experts say since the President has banned lease sales in the Atlantic for at least the next five years, this study is just another attempt to infer action when there is none. So this ‘news’ was simply the Administration giving the appearance of moving toward an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy without actually doing anything.
The President’s ban on coastal energy is a ban on jobs and a ban on the revenue we need so Virginia can have superior schools, healthy children, and better roads. I believe the President truly wants to lower gas prices and create jobs for the good people of Virginia, but his approach is wrong. Now is not the time for more government studies. Now is the time to begin real development of the bountiful wind, natural gas, and oil off the coast of Virginia.
In February I introduced the Mid-Atlantic Energy and Jobs Act of 2012 (HR 3882) to open, in an environmentally-responsible way, the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Virginia for energy development. My legislation would help move America away from its dangerous reliance on foreign oil and create an estimated 18,000 direct and indirect local jobs. At the same time, the legislation would generate $1.4 billion in royalty revenue for the Commonwealth, a percentage of which would be required to go toward environmental preservation in Virginia.
We must pursue a true ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy policy in this country. We’re Americans. We can – and must – do this so we can pass on the blessings of liberty and freedom to our children and grandchildren.
Mindful that I work for you, I remain
Yours in Freedom,
Member of Congress