RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's U.S. senators have introduced a bill to allow offshore energy leases off the coast of Virginia.
Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine introduced The Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013 on Wednesday. It is similar to legislation recently proposed in the U.S. House by Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia.
Warner has introduced similar legislation the past two years. Sales of leases off the Virginia coast were scheduled to begin in 2011 but were delayed until 2017 after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The legislation would include Virginia in existing plans to drill offshore and provide for revenue-sharing between the state and federal governments.
The Sierra Club of Virginia opposes the legislation. In a statement, the club said offshore drilling would risk more than 100,000 jobs in industries that depend on a healthy ocean and Chesapeake Bay and clean beaches.