Virginia Leads as Governor Signs Offshore Energy Bills

By March 11, 2010Energy

From the governor’s office, a news release, “Governor McDonnell Signs Legislation Positioning Virginia to Become the “Energy Capital of the East Coast”

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell was joined by a bipartisan group of delegates and senators this afternoon as he signed legislation that will allocate 80% of future offshore royalties and revenues to transportation and the remaining 20% to the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, which researches and develops renewable energy solutions.  HB 756, a key piece of the Governor’s ‘Jobs and Opportunities’ Agenda, will allocate 80% of future offshore royalties and revenues to transportation (70% to Transportation Trust Fund and 10% to local transportation projects) and the remaining 20% to the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, which researches and develops renewable energy solutions.  Equally important, HB 787 provides a clear statement of the Commonwealth in support of oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production 50 miles or more off Virginia’s coast.  The Governor and members of his administration have been in steady communication with United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar expressing strong support for keeping the offshore lease sale on schedule for 2011.  These pieces of legislation underscore those efforts and provide valuable evidence of Virginia’s readiness to lead on offshore exploration and drilling.

While signing the legislation, Governor McDonnell remarked, “These key pieces of legislation are necessary to help Virginia become the ‘Energy Capital of the East Coast.’  Virginians understand that this common–sense policy will lead to millions of dollars in revenue as well as thousands of new jobs.  Revenue gained from offshore exploration will go directly to two key areas–transportation and energy research and development.  Millions of dollars will go towards improving our transportation system that will ensure the free flow of commerce and attract further business investments in the Commonwealth.  By investing 20% in renewable energy research and production we will ensure that energy sources of the future, such as wind and biofuels, are made more commercially practicable.”

News coverage…

AP, “Va. gov McDonnell signs offshore energy bills

WTVR, “McDonnell signs offshore drilling bills

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