The Obama Administration decided yesterday to block drilling and exploration off the coasts of the Gulf, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. This is a major blow to economic development and will result in lost job opportunities, especially here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This also deals a major blow to energy independence.
Governor Bob McDonnell has been working tirelessly to get the Obama Administration to include Virginia in the lease sale.
“I am extremely disappointed that the Obama Administration has unilaterally blocked environmentally responsible, and economically crucial, offshore energy exploration and development in Virginia, along the Atlantic Coast and throughout other broad swaths of offshore territory nationwide. This is an irresponsible and short-sighted decision. It demonstrates a complete lack of confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit of American industry and its ability to fix the problems experienced in the Gulf spill, and no confidence in the ability of the U.S. government to better plan for and react to offshore emergencies. I personally relayed this message to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar during our phone conversation shortly before the announcement was made today.
This decision comes in the midst of one of the toughest economies in our history. The cost of today’s decision will be seen in major lost job opportunities, surrendered economic growth, and increased dependence on foreign sources of energy, from nations often hostile to American interests.
Advances in technology continue to make offshore energy production more cost effective and safe. Instead of using that technology to produce more energy in a responsible manner here at home, this Administration apparently prefers that we continue to depend more and more on oil from other nations and foreign cartels with far-less stringent environmental regulations and policies. Further, the Administration’s policy of permitting thousands of oil and gas platforms in the Gulf and Alaska, but none off the Atlantic Coast, makes no sense. Punishing an entire industry because of the actions of one company is not good policy.
Virginians support the development of our offshore resources. They know that it would mean thousands of good paying jobs in our Commonwealth and billions in economic impact. Now, the White House has said no to that progress. They have closed the door on an industry poised to breathe new life into our economy and improve American security. This decision calls into serious question the priorities and focus of the Obama Administration. Americans want new jobs created, our economy improved, and more reliable sources of domestic energy utilized. I strongly urge the White House to reconsider this decision. We now look to our US. Senators and Congressmen, who will be playing significant leadership roles in the new Congress, to work on a legislative fix of this decision in order for Virginia to move forward on domestic energy production off our coast, and the creation of thousands of new jobs that will come with it. Left to stand, this policy will have a real, negative impact on the people of our state and this nation. It is the wrong decision at the wrong time.”
Emphasizing the negative impact that this would have on job creation and economic development, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling released the following statement.
“I am very disappointed that the Obama Administration has refused to move forward with the responsible development of our nation’s offshore energy resources. This is a baseless, misguided and short-sighted decision that will leave our nation dependent on foreign sources of energy, leave significant economic benefits associated with offshore energy development unrealized in Virginia and deny the creation of thousands of new jobs for Virginians.
“Governor McDonnell and I continue to support the responsible development of Virginia’s offshore energy resources. We believe that this can be done safely, and we know that development of these resources will help our country achieve a greater degree of energy security, while helping Virginia achieve a greater degree of economic security, including billions of dollars in capital investment, thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue.
“Unfortunately, as a result of the President’s unjustified decision, these considerable resources will remain unutilized and our over-dependence on foreign sources of energy will continue. This is another example of the Obama Administration pursuing anti-business policies that will perpetuate our current economic malaise.”
Americans for Prosperity-Virginia State Director Ben Marchi also released a statement calling the Obama Administration out for their decision that would have drastic economic effects across the nation and the Commonwealth.
“This excessive, sweeping and unnecessary move by the Obama Administration is nothing short of a kneejerk reaction that will have lasting repercussions on the economy of Virginia, potential job creation and the nation at large.
“Such a categorical action during an economic downturn denies the uniquely American ability to solve problems and formulate effective methods to overcome obstacles. By this action, President Obama is eliminating the possibility of creating thousands of jobs in Virginia and elsewhere. He has also cemented – at least for the foreseeable future – America’s reliance on foreign sources of energy while we have untapped resources here within reach on our own shores.
“This is an issue of national economic security, and we are deeply disappointed in President Obama’s actions. Now is the time for our members of Congress, including our two U.S. Senators, to express opposition to this shortsighted policy.”
I guess there is one thing that you can say about the Obama Administration. They really do know how to kill the economy and force complete dependence on government.