Virginia Governor urges US to exclude state from new offshore drilling plan


In his latest letter, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has urged the US Government to exclude the state from a new offshore oil and gas drilling plan.

In the message submitted to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), McAuliffe requested the federal government to remove the state from the new 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Programme.

The plan includes the Atlantic coast and was approved by the US President Donald Trump through an executive order in April.

Earlier, the governor said that any federal drilling plan involving Virginia must feature a revenue-sharing agreement, reported Reuters.

McAuliffe said that President Trump has proposed to end the revenue-sharing agreement with the Gulf States where the drilling is already under way.

"The governor said that any federal drilling plan involving Virginia must feature a revenue-sharing agreement."

“Additionally, the President’s administration is actively working to cut funding from the very agencies that would be charged with protecting Virginia’s coastal environment in the event that exploration went forward.

“My administration will continue to focus on diversifying Virginia's economy and using our precious resources in a way that benefits the people of Virginia.”

The Atlantic Coast was not included in the earlier 2017-2022 drilling plan devised by the previous Obama administration due to strong resistance from the East Coast Governors.

But in April, the President sought to open the areas, which were not included by an executive order.