SOAE 2020: This is Virginia Beach
Posted January 10, 2020
The economic benefits of the nation’s energy revolution – empowering broad sector growth and opportunity – are tangible all across the United States, and are illustrated in API’s new annual report, “This is Energy Progress.”
Virginia’s Hampton Roads region is just one example, where households, businesses and military installations are helped by abundant domestic natural gas and oil. While Virginia isn’t a top producing state, plentiful and low-cost energy resources empower the shipping and tourism economy and strengthen the armed forces that are so visible locally.
Virginia Beach is one of seven U.S. communities profiled in API’s annual report. Those communities and others across the country have benefitted from American natural gas and oil development, and domestic energy infrastructure ensures that Virginia Beach and the surrounding region maintains its economic vitality and recreational appeal.
Virginia Petroleum Council Executive Director Miles Morin commented:
“From the shipyards of Hampton Roads to the naval base in Norfolk, domestic energy production is not only powering economic growth in Virginia—it’s enabling national security.”
Check out this video highlighting the ways natural gas and oil have helped empower progress in Virginia’s Hampton Roads:
In Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, where Virginia Beach is located, the natural gas, oil and petrochemicals industry directly and indirectly adds more than $1.2 billion to the overall economy each year. Affordable and reliable energy supports local industries and improves the quality of life for all Virginians – especially the Commonwealth’s lower-income residents.
Esmel Meeks, executive director of Citizens for Energy Equity, works to promote statewide energy policies focused on people, their families and their livelihoods. Meeks explained:
“Low energy costs lead to price stability and job creation for businesses and industries. That translates to opportunities for families. And low energy bills mean households have a better chance to thrive.”
Innovative techniques in natural gas and oil production – like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – have helped to stabilize energy prices and support the area’s workforce. According Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas, the region’s gas utility, homes and businesses throughout the area save more than $1,000 annually in energy costs, largely thanks to increased U.S. energy production.
API’s report – “This is Energy Progress” – also profiled Donnie Mills, owner of Mills Marine & Ship Repair, whose business is closely tied to the shipyards of Hampton Roads. Mills’ company, like so many others in the area, supports the Navy and commercial shipping and relies heavily on both skilled workers and accessible energy. Natural gas and oil fuel the seagoing vessels that protect American interests and connect the U.S. with key trading partners.
Virginia Beach is a snapshot of America’s broader energy progress, which is delivering both economic growth and emissions reductions. Even still, some benefits have not been fully realized. Expanding offshore natural gas and oil development could bring tens of thousands of jobs and billions in industry spending and economic contributions to the state. And additional investments stand to modernize and improve hundreds of miles of aging pipeline infrastructure.
Natural gas and oil are fundamental to the operations and livelihoods of Virginia Beach’s businesses and families. In 2020, the State of American Energy is one of leadership, and Virginia’s Hampton Roads is a beneficiary of this growth and prosperity.
Read the in-depth profile of Virginia Beach here.
About The Author
Sam Winstel is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. He comes to API from Edelman, where he supported communications marketing strategies for clients across the firm’s energy and federal government practices. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sam graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, and he currently resides in Washington, D.C.