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Keep energy discussion going

To the editor:

Those criticizing supporters of the federal government’s proposed offshore energy plan, claiming its benefits would amount to just a little less in household electricity and fuel costs, are clearly missing the point. Such savings may not seem like much to them, but they would be for tens of thousands of others.

More than 896,000 Virginians live in poverty. That’s 11 percent of the state’s population. All regularly see a double-digit percentage of their take-home pay go toward energy costs like electricity and gasoline. That’s how offshore development can help. It’s simple supply and demand.

And thanks to advancements in energy technology and techniques, plus an array of regulations second to none globally, we don’t have to choose between developing energy and protecting the environment.

As President Obama once said: “I would rather us — with all the safeguards and standards that we have — be producing our oil and gas, rather than importing it, which is bad for our people, but is also potentially purchased from places that have much lower environmental standards than we do.”

Saying no to production here and importing oil from foreign nations only serves to hurt the environment and increase energy costs on those who can least afford it.

Rather than prematurely end the discussion on Atlantic energy, Virginians need to keep the conversation going by learning more about energy poverty and how offshore development can help safely meet our energy needs.

Tim Page

State director, Consumer Energy Alliance