While most of us are waiting out the doldrums of an off year with not too much happening on the election front, Virginia residents have a bit more on their plates. They’ll be electing a new governor this November, and unlike Senate and House seats – which more affect matters of national policy – the chief executive of the Commonwealth is the person who holds the pen when it comes to any state level legislation and regulations which directly affect their lives. One issue which is very important to a lot of Virginians is energy and the jobs that come with it. In fact, there is significant bi-partisan support for off-shore drilling and other emerging energy technologies there.
Most of Virginia’s elected officials, regardless of political party, have expressed interest in drilling, saying production would bring thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to the financially strapped state. But many have expressed caution after the deadly explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last year that created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Obama had announced that Virginia would become one of the first East Coast states to drill offshore. But the administration postponed lease sales after the [gulf] spill and never included Virginia in subsequent plans.
So where does the man who would be Governor come down on this? Let’s see.
SB 262 prohibits drilling for oil and allows for exploratory drilling for natural gas only. The bill was signed into law by Governor Kaine. This is the position I support. I do not support drilling for oil off our coast.
His opponent, on the other hand, has a different focus.
Coal, a rollback on environmental regulations and access to offshore oil would be at the core of Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s agenda if elected Virginia’s next governor, the candidate said during a local stop Thursday.
Dear Virginia: There is a Santa Clause, but there is no help coming to your rescue if you elect McAuliffe as your next governor. Do your homework. Listen to what they are saying. If you blow this one, you have nobody to blame but yourselves.