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Delegate Comstock Joins Governor McDonnell and General Assembly Leaders at Bill Signing
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                  Contact: Ian Gallagher

March 10, 2010                                                                                            (804) 698-1034

                                                                                                                   DelBComstock@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Comstock Joins Governor McDonnell and General Assembly Leaders As

Governor McDonnell Signs Legislation Positioning Virginia to Become the "Energy Capital of the East Coast"


– Positions Commonwealth to Move Forward in Becoming First State on East Coast to Explore for Oil and Natural Gas Offshore; Part of Governor's Comprehensive Energy Plan for Commonwealth –

 Today, Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-McLean), Joined Governor McDonnell and Legislative Leaders on Energy Legislation and released the following statement:   

RICHMOND –  “I was proud to join Governor Bob McDonnell and a bipartisan group of delegates and senators this afternoon as the Governor signed legislation that will 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. 

“Legislation that I introduced, HB 900, was “rolled” into HB 756, a key piece of the Governor's 'Jobs and Opportunities' Agenda.  This bill will allocate 80% of future offshore royalties and revenues to transportation (70% to Transportation Trust Fund and 10% to local transportation projects) and the remaining 20% to the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, which researches and develops renewable energy solutions.  Equally important, HB 787, another key piece of legislation that I co-patroned provides a clear statement of the Commonwealth in support of oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production 50 miles or more off Virginia's coast.  The Governor and members of his administration have been in steady communication with United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar expressing strong support for keeping the offshore lease sale on schedule for 2011.  Earlier this month, my colleagues and I also sent a letter to Secretary Salazar.  (LINK)  

“In his statement at the bill signing, Governor McDonnell explained, ‘These key pieces of legislation are necessary to help Virginia become the 'Energy Capital of the East Coast.'  Virginians understand that this common–sense policy will lead to millions of dollars in revenue as well as thousands of new jobs.  Revenue gained from offshore exploration will go directly to two key areas–transportation and energy research and development.  Millions of dollars will go towards improving our transportation system that will ensure the free flow of commerce and attract further business investments in the Commonwealth.  By investing 20% in renewable energy research and production we will ensure that energy sources of the future, such as wind and biofuels, are made more commercially practicable.’

“The Governor went on to say, ‘It's clear that the policy of the Commonwealth is to support both oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production.  This is an issue with bipartisan consensus–both of Virginia's U.S. Senators, and most of our Congressmen agree, that environmentally–safe, offshore energy development is a matter of national and economic security.  In addition, we're sending an important message that we are ready to go – and there should be no reason for Washington to delay the approval of the offshore lease sale and eventually exploration and drilling.  Virginia is ready– we hope the federal government will move forward and join us in saying 'yes'.  I thank the patrons of this legislation, and leaders on this issue, and look forward to working with them to ensure Virginia becomes the first state on the East Coast to explore for oil and natural gas offshore.’  

“I am particularly pleased that future revenue from offshore energy exploration will be dedicated to a new stream of much needed transportation funds as well as research and development.  This bill will be an asset to the economic viability and security of the Commonwealth.  I was proud to champion this part of the Governor's 'Jobs and Opportunities Agenda' in the House of Delegates this session, and am pleased to see it signed into law today.” 

To see the bills please visit:

To learn more about the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium please see: http://www.vcerc.org/

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