newsobserver.com | Feds move on Virginia oil drilling
WASHINGTON - The federal government on Thursday made its first move toward oil and natural gas exploration off the coast of Virginia -- just northeast of the Outer Banks.
The U.S. Department of Interior issued a call for public comments as it begins to consider the potential environmental effect of offshore drilling. The environmental work is the first step in opening 2.9 million acres of waters to a lease sale scheduled for 2011. The area under consideration is at least 50 miles offshore.
The agency's move will be followed closely by environmental groups and states in the Southeast, along with business groups eager for more energy development.
"In some ways, North Carolina is the next place after Virginia that ... the federal government would like to go," said Michael Gravitz of Environment America, a coalition of state environmental organizations. "Virginia is the first chink in the Atlantic Coast armor."
To submit a comment to the US Dept of the Interior go to: