Virginia’s new governor urges Interior to allow offshore drilling

“Any effort to remove or delay Virginia’s participation in the lease sale would significantly hamper our efforts to create jobs, eliminate much-needed new revenue, and undermine support for President Obama’s stated commitment to make the United States more energy secure,” McDonnell states.

“I ask you today to do everything in your power to ensure Lease Sale 220 stays on schedule, including the prompt completion of an environmental impact statement and the processing of all other administrative steps necessary for holding the lease sale in 2011,” he adds.

McDonnell also argues that Virginia should receive a cut of leasing and royalty revenues from development off the state's coast. A 2006 federal law that expanded drilling the Gulf of Mexico created such revenue-sharing for Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.

“It is critically important as a matter of equity that the Commonwealth receive the same royalties, rentals, and bonus bid payments as do all the other states which currently allow energy exploration and production off of their coasts. I implore you to work with Congressional leaders, as I will, for passage of legislation to ensure that Virginia participates in a fair and equitable distribution of future offshore revenues,” McDonnell states.