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3 govs appeal to interior nominee on offshore oil

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm •  Published: February 14, 2013

The government believes the Virginia leasing area could produce 130 million barrels of oil and 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Environmentalists have said that will provide the U.S. with six days of oil and 18 days of natural gas, based on current consumption trends and it's not worth the environmental risks to coastal tourism and commercial fishing.

"There just isn't much oil out there," said Jackie Savitz of the environmental group Oceana. "Even opening up all U.S. coasts to drilling won't lower the price of gas more than a few cents per gallon, and not until 2030."

The industry has questioned the oil and gas estimates, which they say are based on decades-old seismic studies. They said advanced testing techniques will likely discover more reserves.

McDonnell has argued the administration should at least allow testing.

Jewell's nomination must be approved by the Senate.


Steve Szkotak can be reached on Twitter at .


Associated Press writers Seanna Adcox in Columbia, S.C., and Emery P. Dalesio in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.