Glen Besa, Director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, offered the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement that, in addition to continuing the moratorium on drilling permits for new deepwater wells and delaying in planned exploration off Alaska’s coast, Virginia Lease Sale 220 is canceled.
“The economic and environmental disaster that is currently unfolding on the Gulf Coast underscores the inherent and unavoidable risks that would come with drilling off Virginia’s coast – risks that have been well known for many years. It’s unfortunate that it took a disaster such as this to finally bring to light just how mistaken it would be to drill off Virginia’s coast.”
“Coupled with the recent Department of Defense report warning that Lease Sale 220 would cause unacceptable interference with critically important test and training conducted off the coast of Virginia, we urge Governor McDonnell to change his focus from oil to wind and put the state’s full resources behind developing the offshore wind potential off our coast. Governor McDonnell could really make Virginia the energy capital of the east coast by pursuing clean renewable offshore wind energy and the thousands of jobs this new industry will generate.”