Governor wants Virginia out of U.S. offshore drilling plans

Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe has sent a letter to the Trump administration asking that Virginia be excluded from the U.S. 2019-2024 offshore oil and gas leasing plan.

While McAuliffe doesn’t seem to be against the oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic, it’s the revenue sharing plan, or the lack of it, that bothers him.

In a letter sent to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management: McAuliffe said that a primary concern that must be satisfied in order for Virginia to be included in the leasing area is a revenue sharing agreement between participating Atlantic coast states and the federal government.

“Today, we are no closer to resolving this issue than when I became Governor. During my time as Governor, no legislation has been signed by the President authorizing this type of arrangement,“ he said.

He said that president Donald Trump’s recent proposal to end the GOMESA revenue sharing agreement with the Gulf States (Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana) was a clear indication that “we cannot trust the President to give Virginia its fair share of the revenues that would result from offshore exploration.“

Commenting on Thursday, McAuliffe said.“Revenue sharing agreement is an essential precursor to moving forward on any offshore oil and gas exploration in Virginia.“

“Additionally, the President’s administration is actively working to cut funding from the very agencies that would be charged with protecting Virginia’s coastal environment in the event that exploration went forward.

He has requested from the BOEM not to include the Commonwealth of Virginia in the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Program, as the one proposed “does not adequately protect Virginia’s interest.“

“My administration will continue to focus on diversifying Virginia’s economy and using our precious resources in a way that benefits the people of Virginia,” the Governor said.

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