Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) proposed a bill to open up Virginia’s coastline to offshore oil drilling. Elizabeth Ouzts, Environment Virginia’s Regional Director, issued the following statement:
“In 2011, following the BP Oil Spill, President Obama’s Oil Spill Commission strongly urged the discontinuation of any future offshore drilling proposals, deeming any projects too economically and environmentally hazardous, citing the coastal tourism and fishing industries, which are huge for all coastal states, including here in Virginia.
“Virginia’s white sandy beaches should be for lovers, not oil spills. Every year Virginia’s beaches, where you can spot Atlantic Right whales and wild ponies, bring about 3 million people to the state and are a huge part of the local economy.
“The conditions that caused the BP oil spill haven’t gone anywhere. We saw these threats devastate the Gulf only two years ago, so it’s sorely disappointing that Senators Kaine and Warner want to put even more of our coastal regions at risk with this bill.
“I urge Senators Kaine and Warner to abandon this bill, which would tie Virginians to a dirty, dangerous and outdated practice, and can only result in the devastation of our coastline.”