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RELEASE: Statement of Delegate Comstock on General Assembly Passage of Offshore Royalties Bill
Monday, February 22, 2010

     

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                       Contact: Ian Gallagher

      February 22, 2010                                                                                                                         (804) 698-1034

                                                                                                                             DelBComstock@house.virginia.gov

Statement of Delegate Comstock on General Assembly Passage of Offshore Royalties Bill

-Key Piece of “Jobs and Opportunity” Agenda Passes House and Senate with Bipartisan Support-

Positions Commonwealth to Move Forward in Becoming First State on East Coast to Produce Energy Offshore;

Part of Governor’s Comprehensive Energy Plan for Commonwealth  

RICHMOND – Delegate Barbara Comstock issued the following statement this afternoon following Senate passage of HB 756, the offshore royalties bill: 

“A bipartisan majority in the Senate passed HB 756, a measure to allocate 80% of future offshore royalties and revenues to transportation and the remaining 20% to the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, which researches and develops renewable energy solutions.  This bill is a critical component of both energy independence and providing for a dedicated revenue stream for much needed transportation funds for Northern Virginia.  My bill on offshore drilling royalties (HB 900) was rolled into HB 756 which passed the House by 71-26 and today passed the Senate on a vote of 21-19.

“The passage of HB 756 follows Governor McDonnell’s meeting last week with United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar where McDonnell expressed his strong support for wind energy production as well as keeping the offshore lease sale on schedule for 2011. In addition, last week, Delegate Stolle and I sent a letter to Secretary Salazar that was signed by 51 of our colleagues urging the Secretary to move forward on allowing Virginia to begin environmentally-responsible offshore energy exploration and development. Both Republicans and Democrats who voted for this common sense measure understand that the Commonwealth can become the “Energy Capital of the East Coast”.  This bill also establishes that when offshore energy revenues arrive, the Commonwealth will immediately direct them to two pressing areas: transportation and renewable energy research and development.

“There is bipartisan consensus on this issue. Offshore energy development has the support of the new McDonnell Administration, the Democratic State Senate, the Republican House of Delegates, United States Senators Mark Warner (D) and Jim Webb (D), and a majority of our congressional delegation.  

“As we move forward with these efforts, we will be able to create thousands of new jobs for our citizens, produce hundreds of millions in new state revenue, and spur billions in investment in Virginia.  We can take the lead in moving our nation closer towards energy independence, while simultaneously creating new good-paying jobs for our citizens.”

To see the bill please visit: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgibin/legp504.exe?101+cab+SC10210HB0756+HB1REF


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