McDonnell and Warner React to Obama’s Offshore Drilling Decision
Governor Bob McDonnell believes that President Obama’s decision to cancel plans for drilling off the coast of Virginia is premature. Craig Carper reports.
Though President Obama gave the green light for Virginia to proceed with a lease sale for offshore drilling rights just two months ago, he has reconsidered in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf Coast.
Governor Bob McDonnell, who has been a major proponent of bringing offshore drilling to the Commonwealth, says he understands the President’s position but disagrees.
McDonnell: I just think that the better course would be, let the environmental impact statement go forward, let's do all the things we were gonna do anyway and if we’ve got all the problems addressed in two years then maybe it would be prudent to go forward, maybe it would prudent to go forward solely with natural gas, where you don’t have the problems that you do with oil because we’ve got tremendous estimated deposits of natural gas.
While Senator Mark Warner had previously supported McDonnell’s initiative, he said he believes the President’s decision is appropriate.
Warner: I think we ought to take a pause until we can find why there weren’t more fail-safes, and how we’re going to make sure that going forward, that there are appropriate safeguards in place.
In order for Virginia to collect royalties from offshore oil production, federal law would need to be changed, something to which inland states strongly object.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square.