Article

State holds hearings on offshore energy

Nearly everyone agrees that some form of offshore energy will help bring much needed jobs to Virginia. ...There is particular interest in energy off the coast of Virginia but environmentalists, and the U.S. Navy, have some concerns. The Navy is worried wind towers and oil rigs could interfere with radar facilities as well as training exercises.

Say ‘offshore energy' to most people and they will think the worst about oil and gas drilling due to the continuing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. But there is more to it than that one now stained option, even just off Virginia's coastline.

For Virginia, offshore energy can help power homes and the economy. Although the debate about oil drilling off the coast of Virginia still dominates the conversation in Richmond, there is growing talk of a new option: wind energy.

"Development of our offshore energy resources, wind, oil and natural gas, has to be a priority for the Commonwealth to secure our energy future and to secure our economic future," said Maureen Matsen, energy advisor to Governor Bob McDonnell.

Thursday, legislators held hearings about Virginia's efforts to harness offshore resources to help meet a growing demand.

"We must meet that demand with reliable and reasonably priced power," stated Matsen.

Nearly everyone agrees that some form of offshore energy will help bring much needed jobs to Virginia. The big debate is what type of energy. The governor is pushing what the administration calls an "all of the above" approach: using oil, coal, nuclear and renewable sources.

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Say ‘offshore energy' to most people and they will think the worst about oil and gas drilling due to the continuing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. But there is more to it than that one now stained option, even just off Virginia's coastline.

For Virginia, offshore energy can help power homes and the economy. Although the debate about oil drilling off the coast of Virginia still dominates the conversation in Richmond, there is growing talk of a new option: wind energy.

"Development of our offshore energy resources, wind, oil and natural gas, has to be a priority for the Commonwealth to secure our energy future and to secure our economic future," said Maureen Matsen, energy advisor to Governor Bob McDonnell.

Thursday, legislators held hearings about Virginia's efforts to harness offshore resources to help meet a growing demand.

"We must meet that demand with reliable and reasonably priced power," stated Matsen.

Nearly everyone agrees that some form of offshore energy will help bring much needed jobs to Virginia. The big debate is what type of energy. The governor is pushing what the administration calls an "all of the above" approach: using oil, coal, nuclear and renewable sources.

There is particular interest in energy off the coast of Virginia but environmentalists, and the U.S. Navy, have some concerns.

"This is an issue that's at the highest levels of the defense department," said the Navy's Tom Hicks.

The Navy is worried wind towers and oil rigs could interfere with radar facilities as well as training exercises, including live fire drills, off the coast.

"We are looking very much forward to resolving and mitigating those challenges so that we can find and support the development of alternative and renewable energy resources," said Hicks.

There are also concerns about the cost. A wind farm could cost upwards of $2 billion to build, but supporters say wind could supply 10 percent of Virginia's energy needs each year.

The Obama administration scrapped plans to allow oil drilling off the coast of Virginia in the wake of what happened in the gulf. Governor McDonnell, however, is pushing to get the okay from Washington once more.


Source: http://www.nbc29.com/Global...

JUL 8 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27118-state-holds-hearings-on-offshore-energy
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