The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

U.S. Energy Policy is 'Stuck in Neutral'

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 12, 2010

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Gov. Bob McDonnell set the tone for yesterday's Summit on Virginia's Energy Future when he strode to the podium and said, "Welcome to the energy capital of the East Coast."

As the governor explained, Virginia offers opportunities in energy development in coal, wind, nuclear and oil and natural gas. Lease Sale 220, which would lease a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf 50 miles off the shoreline, could make Virginia the first state with offshore oil and natural gas development on the Atlantic coast.

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Lt. Governor Bill Bolling said offshore exploration and production would be the "single biggest thing" Virginia could do to promote economic growth and job creation.

According to a federal government estimate, the Lease 220 area contains about 130 million barrels of oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Other studies project that more than 500 million barrels of oil and more than 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be produced.

ICF International estimates that Virginia's offshore development could generate nearly $19.5 billion in revenues for federal, state and local governments and create hundreds of new jobs.

As we've reported on this blog, Virginia says it is ready for offshore development and is waiting for the Interior Department to move forward with the leasing plan. A decision is expected in the next few weeks.

"U.S. energy policy has been stuck in neutral," said API's Erik Milito at the summit yesterday. "Delay is not acceptable. The nation is in an economic crisis...It needs the jobs from Virginia's offshore development now."

For more information about yesterday's energy summit, check out my tweets here. Also, you can read the brochure about Lease Sale 220 and a fact sheet about state-of-the-art offshore technology below.

(Images:; MMS)


Update on March 15, 2010: Read a blog post from Geoff Styles of Energy Outlook about the Summitt on Virginia's Energy Future. Virginia Offshore Lease Fact SheetOil and Natural Gas Offshore Technology Fact Sheet