The Corner

Virginia GOP Drilling for McAuliffe

The state senator from my old stomping grounds of Spotsylvania, Va., Republican up-and-comer Bryce Reeves, today announced a “straightforward plan” for restoring offshore drilling that should cause Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe some political agita.

Calling his scheme a “proactive approach to create jobs here in Virginia,” and noting that “both our U.S. senators and Congress have passed bills in a bipartisan effort to lift the ban,” Reeves called on McAuliffe to “utilize his relationship with the Obama administration to fight for Virginia” and re-open the drilling process. “This critical step will boost our nation’s capacity for domestic energy production while strengthening our national security by reducing our over-reliance on imported oil and gas,” he said. “It will also bring jobs to Virginia.”

Reeves will introduce legislation next year that will use some of the drilling revenues to support energy-exploration curricula at Virginia’s community colleges.

So the dilemma for McAuliffe will be to veto a jobs/education/revenue bill out of the box, or risk ticking off his environmentalist base (including lefty moneybags Tom Steyer, who spent $8 million bankrolling McAuliffe’s election effort).

Sounds like fun!

By the way, Reeves says the “proposed sale of the ‘220 Area’ off the shore of Virginia” could produce “more than half a billion barrels of oil and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. . . . The current oil-and-natural-gas industry supports over 143,000 jobs within the Commonwealth, and this expansion would continue to add to the already $12 billion–earning industry.”

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