Gov. Bob McDonnell issued the following statement Tuesday after U.S. Senate Republicans announced plans to introduce the Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011 Wednesday.
The act aims to increase domestic offshore energy production, including in areas off the coast of Virginia, improve safety and require bureaucrats to process permits more efficiently.
McDonnell says, “As families in Virginia face gas prices of nearly $4 per gallon, and international news highlights the instability in many oil-producing nations, we must explore and develop all of our available domestic energy sources to create jobs while protecting our economy and national security.
“America’s energy future must be made more secure and must focus on domestic energy resources. I have written the President and asked him to provide the leadership and guidance America needs to move toward energy independence and not have our energy prices determined by the political situation in other nations, armed conflicts and long and tenuous supply chains.
"His remarks this weekend demonstrate that the administration is increasingly focused on this matter, and is considering steps to help address this pivotal issue. At the same time, I am pleased that Republicans in the U.S. Senate under the leadership of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have stepped up and offered this important legislation to move us one step closer to responsible domestic energy exploration off our shores, while ending bureaucratic delays to the efficient processing of existing drilling permits.
“I urge the Congress to pass this bill with strong bipartisan support, and I encourage Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner to back this measure, which will be a great benefit to the Commonwealth and the nation. Virginia has a vision to become the energy capital of the East Coast, but we cannot achieve that goal, nor can we help foster energy independence and national security if we are reticent to set the prudent and needed policies that can impact the future of our nation and the livelihood of every American.”