Job Creation Off Shore Exploration Bill on way to Governor

-- Measure Passes House and Senate --

 CENTRAL VA – Passed by a vote of 69-28 in the House and 32-8 in the Senate, House Bill 787 is on the way to the Governor’s desk for signature.  Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) was delighted to co-patron HB 787.  Passage of this measure makes it the policy of the Commonwealth to support oil and natural gas exploration, development, and production 50 miles or more off of the coast of Virginia.

“The development of Virginia’s offshore energy reserves would mean thousands of new jobs and hundreds of millions in tax revenue.  It is vital in the economic times that legislators take steps to create jobs and implement revenue generating policies,” asserted Peace.  “This action brings with it tremendous opportunity for our Commonwealth to begin investments that will reduce reliance on foreign sources of energy, while also helping to strengthen our economy.”

A recent study on the issue, produced in 2005 by a professor at Old Dominion University, estimated that offshore natural gas production off of the Virginia coast would, over a 10-year period, likely create 2,578 new jobs, induce capital investment of $7.84 billion, yield $644 million in direct and indirect payroll, and result in $271 million in state and local taxes.  The numbers were based on a conservative projection of the possible cubic feet of natural gas existing in the targeted area offshore.

By signing this bill into law, Governor McDonnell fulfills one of his campaign pledges to support such measures which will help us move toward energy independence and create jobs to get our economy moving again. 

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.