The board voted to write a resolution against the commonwealth’s inclusion in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s 2017-2022 leasing program. The bureau is the division of theU.S. Department of the Interior that oversees the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
Chairman Spencer Murray and Supervisors Granville Hogg, Robert Duer and Larry LeMond voted yes to the resolution, while Supervisor Oliver Bennett abstained.
The vote came after a presentation by Jay Ford, Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper Executive Director, who spoke on the detrimental effects offshore drilling would have on the Shore’s economy.
“It’s a very important point that if we get included in this lease right now, the state, localities—you have given up any say that you will have in the future decision-making process,” said Ford. “At that point it is 100 percent in federal hands.”
(Published in Delmarva Now, March 10, 2016)