The Virginia Chapter celebrated a big victory in late March, 2020. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation on March 25th banning oil and gas drilling—and any oil and gas infrastructure—in state waters, which extend three miles from shore. The ban makes it very difficult and expensive for any future oil and gas exploration offshore of Virginia. See more in our blog post.
Together, SB795 and HB706 also retract a state policy supporting U.S. efforts to explore for offshore oil and gas. Virginia joins Florida, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, and Maine in banning offshore oil drilling on the East Coast. The legislation takes effect on July 1, 2020.
The Virginia Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation worked to support the ban through an action alert shared across social media and other communications channels. They colaborated with a coalition of Virginia business and environmental groups, known as VACA, the Virginia Coastal Alliance.
Virginia's ocean uses do not mix with offshore oil and gas development. Thousands of Virginia tourism and recreation jobs, and billions of dollars of the state’s gross domestic product depend on clean, oil-free water and beaches and abundant fish and wildlife.