I’m very glad to see this from Lt. Governor Northam – thank you! Now we really need Gov. McAuliffe and our two U.S. Senators to come out against drilling for oil off the coast of Virginia. It’s a bad idea on basically every level. As Northam correctly points out, offshore oil drilling would pose a major risk to the enormous tourism and aquaculture industries in the Hampton Roads region, in addition to the military, NASA and the Chesapeake Bay. Plus, of course, increased fossil fuel use is driving sea-level rise, stronger storms, and other adverse effects of global warming. For all these reasons, as Northam argues, it “would be best to take a conservative approach and exclude Virginia from the proposed leasing program.”
RICHMOND – Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam submitted a letter today urging the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to avoid offshore drilling in Virginia. Currently, the Commonwealth is included in the draft proposed 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
“Over the years, I have witnessed the demise of the Chesapeake Bay and decided to run for public office in large part to work towards its restoration. Offshore drilling will not only put our environment at risk, but will also threaten some of the most important industries in Virginia – defense, agriculture and tourism. I urge the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to exclude the Commonwealth from the next iteration of the Five Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program.”