Leading up to the State of the Union address…

David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance, issued a statement reacting to the news that the Interior Department will continue to delay the long-scheduled offshore energy lease sale in areas 50 miles off the Virginia coast:

When the governor of the commonwealth of Virginia asks the federal government to partner with his administration in an effort to convert the abundant reserves of energy off his shores into jobs, revenue and energy security for Virginians, you’d hope to see a sensible process move forward. If news today out of MMS is any indication, the federal government appears ready to delay that critical work for at least another year, meaning additional delays in creating jobs, reducing energy costs and getting the U.S. economy moving again.

The Administration should do more to show that it recognizes the tremendous economic opportunity that safe and responsible offshore energy exploration presents to the citizens of Virginia, and the nation at large.

We’re talking about thousands of high-wage jobs here, and billions in annual revenue that can be raised without imposing a single new tax. When it comes to promoting alternative energy resources offshore, the Administration has compiled an impressive record – and we applaud those efforts. This announcement signals that the Administration may not be looking to maximize our nation’s enormous oil and gas potential offshore with the same enthusiasm.  Those who support a balanced, commonsense national energy strategy look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to create jobs, improve our national and energy security and responsibly allow access to our abundant resources.

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