VIRGINIA BEACH – Highlighting one of the most pressing environmental issues facing coastal communities, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) on Wednesday participated in a town hall to discuss her strong opposition to offshore drilling.
“In Hampton Roads, elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels must work together to combat the threat of offshore drilling,” Congresswoman Luria said after the event. “As a 20-year Navy veteran who trained off the Virginia coast, I know that having to dodge oil platforms would impact military readiness. And I understand what offshore drilling could do to Virginia’s beautiful shorelines and thriving economy. It was an honor to partner with other leaders to note the dangers of offshore drilling and tell the community how we are working to address them.”
Congresswoman Luria and other panelists at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s town hall on offshore drilling emphasized the importance of our waters and coastline, potential impacts of a Deepwater Horizon-like accident, broad bipartisan support for measures to restrict offshore drilling along the entire Atlantic coast, and widespread municipal opposition to offshore drilling.
Audience questions at the Brock Environmental Center covered a variety of topics, including federal and state efforts to prohibit offshore drilling. A bipartisan slate of officials was present, including Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler, Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Carlos Hopkins, State Sen. Bill DeSteph, State Sen. Lynwood Lewis, Northampton County Supervisor John Coker, and Norfolk Councilwoman Andria McClellan.
The first bill Congresswoman Luria cosponsored in Congress was the bipartisan Defend Our Coast Act, which would prohibit the drilling, exploration, development, or production of fossil fuels in the mid-Atlantic region – including Virginia. More recently, Congresswoman Luria supported New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone’s legislation to prohibit federal money from advancing offshore drilling and related activities throughout the entire Atlantic Ocean. She later spoke on the House Floor to praise House passage of the Pallone provision.