Rep. Rigell introduces latest Virginia offshore leasing bill

US Rep. E. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) introduced legislation on Apr. 26 that would make the US Department of the Interior hold an oil and gas lease sale off Virginia’s coast as soon as it was practicable.

Three other House Republicans from Virginia—H. Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, and Robert J. Wittman—are cosponsors of HR 1782. The measure was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee, where Wittman is a member. Rigell introduced a similar bill in 2012.

Virginia’s two US senators, Democrats Timothy M. Kaine and Mark R. Warner, are preparing similar legislation, an Apr. 26 Norfolk Virginian-Pilot article said, citing a source in Warner’s office.

American Petroleum Institute Upstream and Industry Operations Director Erik Milito applauded HR 1782’s introduction. “Tapping resources off the coast of Virginia and other Atlantic states will be a key part of the all-of-the-above energy plan President Obama has promised,” he said on Apr. 26.

“Before the first well can be drilled, the federal government must schedule lease sales and permit modern seismic surveys, which are essential for locating undersea energy resources,” Milito said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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