The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Virginia's Wellbeing Depends on Offshore Drilling

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 8, 2010

An op-ed published in Sunday's Richmond Times-Dispatch illustrates the support for Virginia's offshore drilling plan.

Titled "Energy in Virginia: An Easy Decision for Obama," the op-ed is authored jointly by Brett Vassey, president and CEO of the Virginia Manufacturers Association, and Mike Ward, executive director of the Virginia Petroleum Council.

As they explain, Virginia has reached agreement on now to use revenues that could be generated by offshore development. Now the state is waiting for approval from the administration.

Brett and Mike say opening federal waters for oil and natural gas development 50 miles off Virginia's coast could bring new jobs and revenues to a state that is experiencing a sharp decline in state and federal transportation funding. A new agreement forged recently by state lawmakers would devote 80 percent of future offshore royalties and revenues to Virginia's Transportation Trust Fund and to communities within the state for transportation improvements.

Furthermore, they point out that a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study found offshore development could create 1,900 new jobs, over and above the 143,000 jobs already supported by the oil and natural gas industry in Virginia. As Brett and Mike put it:

"If the president wants to create jobs and strengthen the nation's economy, the decision to develop America's energy resources off the Virginia coast and elsewhere should be an easy one...The well-being of our commonwealth depends upon it."

For more information, read the full text of Brett Vassey's and Mike Ward's op-ed.