Tag: Offshore drilling
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Requests Virginia Exemption from Trump Administration’s Offshore Drilling...
Mon., Feb. 9, 2:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites Washington DC - Convention Center, 900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Norfolk VA Meeting:
Wed., Feb. 11, 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, 777 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA 23505
BOEM has also opened up a public comment period (deadline March 30) on its oil and gas development plan. Click here to send them a message saying "No" to Atlantic drilling.
What has changed since the 2010 Gulf oil disaster that would now allow the Atlantic to be opened up for offshore drilling? Answer on the flip...
Coal companies claim to be victims of a "war on coal," but for nearly two decades they've been conducting a war on Virginia taxpayers. Virginia's tax code offers so many preferences that a 2012 study concluded the coal industry costs Virginia more than it gives back. Among other preferences, two different subsidies in the Code have allowed coal companies to siphon off tens of millions of dollars annually from the General Fund since 1996.
The subsidies come with nominal sunset dates, currently January 1, 2017. Over nearly twenty years, no matter how fat or lean the state's financial condition, the legislature has repeatedly passed extensions, and they are being asked to do so again this year. HB 1879 (Kilgore) and SB 741 (Carrico) would extend the giveaway out to 2022.
(According to VPAP.org, Delegate Kilgore, chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee, gets a check for $10,000 every year from coal giant Alpha Natural Resources. Alpha also gives ten grand a year to Senator Carrico, who just happens to sit on Senate Finance, which will hear the bill. I mention these facts only in passing. It would be cynical to suggest a connection.)
Supporters of the subsidies seem to believe coal companies need the inducement to blow up our mountains and dump waste into stream valleys. And they maintain this is a good thing for the people of Southwest Virginia, who can enjoy gainful employment by participating in the destruction of their communities.
The coal companies certainly do benefit from this arrangement, but coal jobs have declined to less than 5,000 total in Virginia today, and it's clear to everyone that Southwest Virginia needs to diversify its economy or face a future of poverty and high unemployment. The coal subsidies suck up money that could be spent on new jobs and a better-educated workforce.
I won't be diplomatic about Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe's change of face regarding offshore oil drilling. In an about face that dovetailed both U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and Mark Warner's (Virginia) bill to overturn the federal hold on offshore drilling in coastal waters, McAuliffe expressed support for offshore drilling for oil.
Previously, McAuliffe expressed his support for exploratory drilling for natural gas, not oil. With his Democratic pals pushing to throw more oil and natural gas rigs into America's coastal waters, McAuliffe has adjudged that the political winds are ripe for a political change of face and a stab in the back to environmentally conscious Virginians who so ardently backed his candidacy.
"Terry believes we need to support coal workers, both through increased exports throughout the world, and workforce training to ensure that displaced workers can find new careers," McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin said. "The fact is, we need an all of the above energy policy that focuses on increasing renewable energy like wind and solar while supporting existing Virginia industries."
Support coal workers, WTF?! I have a bitter pill I'd like the coal industry and its employees to swallow: your time is up, so get over it and find jobs elsewhere.
We elect politicians to make decisions. When they refuse to take a stand, it's our job to hold them accountable.
Yet somehow that rule seems to have a huge loophole when it comes to energy. Because the one thing politicians across the spectrum seem to agree on is the need for an "all of the above" energy policy. And we allow them to get away with this cop-out.
"All of the above" is not a policy, it is the absence of a policy. Have you ever heard of an "all of the above" foreign policy? Maybe an "all of the above" economic policy? How about an "all of the above" policy on abortion? Such things sound absurd because they are.
Granted, politics and government often leave us with policies that incorporate opposing positions, once we've ground through the process of give-and-take. But rarely does anyone start with an "all of the above" position. It's where you may end up after you've tried to protect your ground while giving away as little of your positions, and your soul, as you can. If you start with "all of the above" as your position, you're pretty much guaranteed to get nothing.
Remember that famous quote from Martin Luther King? "I have a dream...of an 'all of the above' civil rights policy where we simultaneously protect and deny the rights of all Americans." Me neither.
Why is energy treated differently?
In an effort to put more holes in Virginia soil to extract materials millions of years old, Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are renewing their attempts to lift the federal hold on oil and gas drilling in Virginia's coastal waters.
But wait, here comes the political cover! According to The Virginian-Pilot, Warner and Kaine each "vowed" they wouldn't continue their attempts to lift the federal moratorium on oil and gas drilling unless the Commonwealth received a sizable share of the of the oil and gas revenue that would accrue in the future. Under current law, all such profits would go into federal coffers. How this provision came into effect is also a legislative oddity.
For Virginians who are more concerned about the environment than extracting a finite resource that Virginia and the rest of the country could do without, this renewed push by Senators Warner and Kaine come as another disappointing political move by two supposedly "blue" politicians.