Offshore drilling could bring prices down

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

To the editor:

A pair of Virginia lawmakers recently introduced the Defend Our Coast Act, which proposes banning offshore drilling in the Mid-Atlantic. Anti-development groups and well-funded, elite activists applauded the proposal, saying it was a sign that legislators were finally standing up for Virginians.

Which ones?

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About 11 percent of Virginia’s population lives in poverty. That’s more than 896,000 Virginians. They, plus millions of others on fixed incomes or living paycheck to paycheck, see a double-digit percentage of their take-home pay go toward energy costs like electricity and gasoline, dangerously more than what those other income brackets pay.

Offshore development can help lower these unnecessarily high expenses — if done safely. Innovation in energy technology, better-quality techniques and an array of state of federal regulations that remain the safest globally ensures we can do just that and protect the environment, plus reduce imports from foreign, and often hostile, countries with far less stringent rules and regulations.

That’s not just my opinion but also former President Obama’s, who 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.”

It’s hard to dispute that — or how offshore energy production, wind included, can help combat energy poverty by steadying the delicate supply-demand scale and meeting surging energy needs.

Kevin Doyle

Virginia State Director for Consumer Energy Alliance