On Monday, the Virginia Senate passed HB 756, a bill that apportions future state revenues gained from offshore oil and natural gas leases. The bill mandates that 70% of any state revenues from offshore E&P must go to Virginia’s Transportation Trust Fund, 20% to the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, and 10% for local improvements to infrastructure and transportation. The Virginia House of Representatives passed HB 756 earlier this month. Virginia's new governor, Bob McDonnell, has expressed support for offshore oil and gas E&P.
On Tuesday National Ocean Industries Association President Tom Fry released a statement commending the Virginia Senate’s support for future offshore energy development. In his statement, Fry said that the vote “demonstrates a strong bipartisan commitment by the Commonwealth to allow OCS exploration off its coast and actively work with Congress and the Obama Administration to move forward with OCS Lease Sale 220.” Fry went on to note that offshore leases in Virginia could offer “new jobs, new federal and state revenue, and new energy for America.”