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API Announces New “Explore Offshore” Coalition In Virginia Supporting Access To the Atlantic’s Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Resources; Part of Larger Effort Supporting Expanded Access to America’s energy resources

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Former Delegates Winsome Sears and Mike Watson to serve as State Co-Chairs; Former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson and Former Secretary of the Navy and Virginia Senator Jim Webb Serving as bipartisan National Co-Chairs.

Oil and Natural Gas Industry Could Create Over 25,000 New High-Paying Jobs in Virginia; Offshore Development Could Result in $1.5 billion in Private Investment; $230 Million a Year in State Revenues.

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2018 – API today announced the formation of “Explore Offshore”, a new coalition of more than 100 community organizations, associations, businesses and local leaders in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida who support increased access to offshore U.S. oil and natural gas resources. The Virginia effort will be led by Winsome Sears, Former Virginia Delegate from the 90th district and Mike Watson, Former Virginia Delegate from the 93rd district. Jim Nicholson, who served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs during the George W. Bush Administration, and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb will serve as bipartisan national co-chairs of the coalition.

Former Delegate Winsome Sears, Explore Offshore Virginia Co-Chairman: “I am honored to be part of this effort to bring Virginians together to promote job creation and bolster national security through offshore oil and natural gas exploration. The potential benefits of developing Virginia’s offshore oil and natural gas resources could be a game-changer for communities throughout the Commonwealth, generating tens of thousands of high-paying jobs and hundreds of millions in much-needed state revenue. As a veteran, I know how important energy security is to national security as it lessens our dependence on foreign nations. Responsible offshore oil and natural gas development can make our nation more secure, while growing our economy here in the Commonwealth.”

Former Delegate Mike Watson, Explore Offshore Virginia Co-Chairman: “As a business owner who works directly with manufacturing, defense, and other industries, I know that access to affordable, reliable energy is critical for each. While we strive to boost our nation’s economy and security, demand for oil and natural gas will likely rise. To ensure our energy security, it’s imperative that we understand exactly what and where resources are available, yet we’ve not explored the Atlantic in over three decades.  It’s time we do.”

Virginia Petroleum Council Director Miles Morin: “Members of Explore Offshore are united in support for expanding access to America’s offshore energy resources to meet growing demand, fortify our national security, and provide stability for our country’s families and small businesses.”

The importance of oil and natural gas to Virginia:

  • Oil and natural gas will continue to make up over 60 percent of America’s electricity use for at least the next thirty years according to federal government projections, even with the use of renewables on the rise.
  • 50 percent of net electricity generation in Virginia in 2017 came from natural gas.
  • By 2035, the oil and natural gas industry could create over 25,000 new high-paying jobs in Virginia
  • Offshore development could result in $1.5 billion in private investment into Virginia and $230 million a year in state revenues.
  • From 1990 to 2016, the natural gas and oil sector invested more than $339 billion—$1,045 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.—to improve air quality and support environmental programs.
  • The average salary for oil and natural gas exploration and development jobs is $116,000, including positions that do not require a 4-year degree.

Explore Offshore is a bipartisan coalition dedicated to safe and environmentally responsible

access to our offshore energy resources to help supply affordable energy for American consumers, small businesses, and manufacturers. This broad coalition of community organizations, businesses, and local associations across the Southeast in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, has come together to voice support for reliable, safe, and affordable energy.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 45 million Americans.

For the national press release click here.


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