The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Offshore Energy and Virginia

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 11, 2015

With federal officials holding one in a series of public hearings on the Obama administration’s draft offshore oil and natural gas leasing program today in Norfolk, Va., it’s worth underscoring the benefits that offshore energy could bring to the commonwealth.

  • 25,000 jobs by 2035, according to a study by Quest Offshore Resources
  • Nearly $1.9 billion for the state’s budget by 2035, with revenue sharing in place


Quest’s projected job gains for Virginia:

Virginia_jobs

The chart shows expanded job creation as offshore development goes from the exploratory phase into development and then production.  The potential job gains are just one reason Virginians support safe and responsible offshore drilling65 percent in a recent survey of registered voters. The state’s top political leaders are united behind development – including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, whose district includes the Hampton Roads area.

Virginia’s input – as well as that from other states that could benefit from energy development off their coasts – is critical. The administration’s draft proposal is limited and would deprive America’s energy revolution of needed access to offshore oil and natural gas reserves – needed to sustain and grow our country’s remarkable energy renaissance. The draft would provide for just a single Atlantic lease sale in 2021 as part of the five-year program for 2017-2022.

The draft would do little to alter the fact that 87 percent of federal offshore acreage is off limits to safe development:

potential

The draft suggests a lack of vision for the America’s energy potential – benefiting Virginia and the entire country. Erik Milito, API director of upstream, during a recent press briefing:

“Staying competitive and reducing our dependence on oil from abroad depends on planning and decisions made today. What the administration has in fact proposed represents delayed economic opportunity and could cost us a lot of jobs and revenue to the government and threaten our energy security. This is our energy moment, and we need smart, forward-thinking policies to realize this opportunity.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.