Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., has signed legislation that will allow offshore oil and natural-gas exploration. This legislation will also fund renewable energy research.
H.B.756 will allocate 80% of future offshore royalties and revenues to transportation (70% to a transportation trust fund and 10% to local transportation projects) and the remaining 20% to the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium (VCERC), which researches and develops renewable energy solutions.
VCERC provides the research and development required for the commercialization and implementation of renewable energy by using algal biomass, wind and wave resources available in Virginia.
‘Millions of dollars will go towards improving our transportation system that will ensure the free flow of commerce and attract further business investments in the commonwealth,’ says McDonnell. ‘By investing 20% in renewable energy research and production, we will ensure that energy sources of the future, such as wind and biofuels, are made more commercially practicable.’
The governor and members of his administration have been communicating with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, expressing strong support for keeping the offshore lease sale on schedule for 2011.
SOURCE: Office of Gov. Bob McDonnell