(RICHMOND, VA)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Virginia Executive Director Rebecca LePrell issued the following statement on the announcement today that Virginia will remain off limits for offshore oil and gas drilling.
"We applaud President Obama's decision against oil and gas drilling off the coast of Virginia. Offshore drilling would pose unjustifiable risks to the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia's coastline, and the region's economy.
A major spill or accident would be devastating, threatening life in the Chesapeake Bay, the fishing and tourism industries, military operations, and the thousands of jobs that rely upon a protected shoreline. The Bay is on a path toward recovery with the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint. The benefits from chasing limited petroleum resources on the Atlantic Coast are uncertain and do not justify risking what could be dire consequences for the ecology and economy of the Mid-Atlantic region."
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today decided to keep Virginia and several other Southeastern states out of its revised 2017 to 2022 offshore oil and gas leasing program. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has long opposed offshore drilling given the risk of disastrous ecological and economic consequences resulting from a potential spill.