newsrep spanberger introduces amendment to protect virginia from offshore drilling

Rep. Spanberger introduces amendment to protect Virginia from offshore drilling

(© Tatiana –

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia is leading a charge to prevent offshore oil and gas drilling that would threaten the Commonwealth’s economy.

Spanberger speaks out in a video against legislation that would encourage offshore drilling near Virginia.

According to a report, offshore drilling could threaten approximately 86,000 jobs in Virginia and roughly $4.8 billion in the Commonwealth’s GDP from coastal tourism, commercial fishing and aquaculture.

The Commonwealth’s seafood industry could also be in danger, according to NOAA. In 2016, Virginia’s commercial seafood industry collected more than 440 million pounds of seafood worth nearly $300 million.

The Strategic Production Response Act was considered on the U.S. House floor last week and would prevent use of America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) until more oil and gas is drilled on federal lands.

Spanberger introduced an amendment to the legislation to block new oil and gas leasing in any tract located off the coast of Virginia.

“Offshore drilling would expose Virginia to potentially devastating threats,” Peggy Sanner, Virginia Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation said. “A major spill would shatter the local economy, decimate marine life and sea bird populations, and pollute the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, undoing decades of restoration efforts. Communities up and down the coast and across Virginia are opposed to offshore drilling. We thank Rep. Spanberger for making it clear that oil and gas drilling should never be allowed off Virginia’s coast.”


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.