Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chris Saxman to introduce off-shore drilling bill

SWAC's Del. Chris Saxman (R-20th House) will introduce legislation next week during the special session calling for all revenues from any off-shore drilling of gas and oil to be deposited in the state's transportation fund.

WHSV TV-3 out of Harrisonburg is reporting that Del. Saxman and Sen. Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) are working on bills to introduce to the General Assembly.

Del. Saxman released a statement today outlining his proposal:
“I have been working for several years with my Republican colleagues in the House and Senate on the issue of exploring the possibility of drilling off the coast of Virginia for oil and natural gas.

"At a time when Virginia consumers are faced with ever-increasing gas and oil prices, we should at least consider the possibility of greater domestic production to help ease the pain drivers are feeling at the pump.

“Though Congress and the President are both able to lift the ban on offshore drilling, it is important that Virginia, as a state with potentially significant offshore resources, is prepared for the possibility of that occurring.

“The legislation I have proposed will dedicate any future revenues or royalties paid to the Commonwealth to the Transportation Trust Fund, in order that those funds be used to pay for our on-going transportation needs. I understand there are some different variations of this bill being introduced as well, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to adapt the language for these bills. We realize that any revenues from these measures are speculative, and this is not for budgetary planning, but rather we are looking to start the process and lay the groundwork for future action.”
Meanwhile, Jeff Schapiro over at the Richmond Times-Dispatch is also reporting that Del. Saxman and Sen. Wagner are working on this issue.

The Times-Dispatch reported:
Saxman's bill would earmark all dollars for roads and rail. Wagner proposes splitting the dollars among transportation, cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, research and development at colleges and universities, and programs to promote energy efficiency.

Both bills will be considered next week, when the General Assembly returns to Richmond for the third go in as many years on long-term funding for the state's transportation network.
The special session of the General Assembly is set to convene Monday.

1 comment:

Cargosquid said...

Just think, we can use the money from the leases offshore to fund any transportation bills.......fitting, no?

But the guv'mint will screw it up. Just watch. I'm right. Just ask me.