Opposing drilling for gas and oil off our Atlantic coast is an important policy position for LRNOW.
During the 2020 legislative session, we worked with our Virginia General Assembly representative to pass landmark legislation removed support for offshore drilling from our State Code and putting restrictions on drilling infrastructure in the three miles coastal area controlled by the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is important legislation and a big step forward in our fight against offshore drilling. Currently, offshore drilling must be addressed annually in the congressional budget process. Our goal, however, is to pass legislation at the federal level which permanently prohibits new offshore seismic testing, leasing, and offshore drilling in US waters off the coast of California, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the East Coast. This would permanently protect Virginia’s outer continental shelf from all drilling activities.
Since 2017, we have worked hard with a wide range of partners to oppose seismic testing and drilling for gas and oil off the coast of Virginia. There are many reasons to oppose drilling off of the Virginia coast. They include:
- Seismic testing and drilling are extremely dangerous and potentially deadly to marine mammals and other ocean wildlife.
- Tourism is a major contributor to our economy in Virginia Beach and could be devastated not just by a major spill, but also by the cumulative impact of the small spills that are a part of day to day oil and gas drilling operations.
- Healthy local seafood is important to all of us and employs many who make coastal Virginia their home. Crabs, oysters, clams and commercial and sport fish are put at great risk by drilling operations.
- NASA’s activities at Wallops Island on the Eastern Shore of Virginia will be compromised by oil and gas activity in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia.
- And lastly, the US Navy has identified most of the area off the coast of Virginia as critical to their training activities which do not mix with oil rigs and drilling operations.
For these reasons, LRNow opposes seismic testing and offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. We appreciate the unwavering support of Governor Northam. We also appreciate the support of Senator Kaine, Senator Warner, Congresswoman Luria, the Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Virginia Beach City Council.
LRNow is a proud member organization of the Virginia Conservation Network’s Offshore Drilling Workgroup and Virginia Coastal Alliance (VACA). VACA’s amplified voice against offshore drilling was a critical element in both sharpening our message and speaking to legislators with a synchronized voice. The Alliance is working closely to rally around other important environmental issues with the same powerful single voice that was successful in the offshore drilling campaign.
Follow @VirginiaCoastalAlliance on Instagram.
Questions? Please contact Jim@lrnow.org
Member organizations of the Virginia Coastal Alliance:
Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast
Center for Biological Diversity
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Croc’s 19th Street Bistro
Earth Day Network
Eco Maniac Co.
Sierra Club Virginia Chapter
Southern Environmental Law Center
Surfrider Foundation Virginia
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Virginia Conservation Network (VCN)
Virginia League of Conservation Voters