WASHINGTON – Six months after they have placed a Republican holder in one of the most watched races in the country, US Representative Elaine Luria, D-2, is expecting President Donald Trump's administration – especially his oil plans t to greatly expand and drill gas in federal waters.
On January 8 – a year until the day after she launched her offer for Congress – Luria introduced legislation that would prevent the administration of leases for the exploration, development or production of oil or gas on the coast. Central Atlantic.
In a brief interview near her Washington, D.C., the office, the Democrat rookie with the Virginia Mercury said she intends to “continue to push this and be loud about it.”
The fight on offshore drilling is expected to increase when the Trump administration issues an update on its rewriting of the Bureau's Ocean Energy Management five year leasing plan, which would provide almost all of the country's External Continental Shelf. oil and gas development. A final plan is expected to be released by the end of the year.
Last year the Trump administration unveiled a draft proposal – a year after it prevented offshore drilling in most of the Arctic and central parts of the Atlantic in the Obama era. A federal judge spent Trump's executive order last month.
The administration intends to release an updated offshore drilling project this year, followed by a period of approximately 90 days. When Luria was asked against the plan and other members of Congress, Connie Gillette, spokesperson for the Ocean Energy Management Bureau, said, “We welcome the input of the community.”
The Democratic delegation of Virginia is united against offshore drilling and Republicans are members.
Direct threat framework ’
Luria's bill – supported by four other Democrats in the Virginia conference delegation – would prevent drilling in the central Atlantic region. Its characteristic is something that is not very similar – as much as it left the first piece of legislation it introduced into its conference profession. “There's no advantage,” she told Mercury.
Its offshore drilling has “direct drilling”, she said in a statement, and is one of the highest sea level rise in the country. In addition, it poses a threat to national security and the local economy, she said – two major concerns in an area with the largest fleet base in the country and a strong tourism industry.
These issues are also close to Luria's heart – and to her new political career.
He is a former naval commander and owner of two art and craft stores in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and says drilling will interfere with military operations from the coast and could damage the community and aquaculture of the beach. “I am still to meet anyone during my campaign or because I actually hold office, which I think we should drill off the coast of Virginia,” she said.
However, Mike Watson, a former delegate to Virginia Assembly and Virginia chairman, Explore Offshore, is a coalition government that promotes offshore energy development. At this point, Watson is looking for exploration, which he said would be by seismic mapping – essentially a 3D ultrasound on the sea floor. “The direct implementation of the reserves gives us strength both from a diplomatic and economic perspective,” he said. “There is some security… even if we don't have a plan to follow.”
Oil rigs, which he noticed, could not be seen from the shoreline so it would not affect the local economy. And it breaks down environmental concerns about oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon, the rig that exploded in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and leaking four million barrels of oil that continued unabated 87 days , beaches and marshes along the Gulf Coast.
Technology, Watson, said that great progress has been made since then, significantly reducing the likelihood of such disasters. However, the Trump administration has moved to restore safety regulations imposed after Deepwater Horizon spills, the largest “in the history of marine oil drilling operations,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Opposition bartartisan, bicoastal
Watson says he is “cautiously optimistic” that the administration will be proceeding with his offshore drilling plan – but nevertheless he must be looking forward to people like Luria and a partyist coalition, an opposition to the Congress. .
As well as co-ordinating the Protection of our Coast Act, Luria joined forces with the Virginia Democrats in February signing on a letter objecting to the issuing of permits by the administration which allowed an air seismic explosion. in the Atlantic Ocean, which each other says they can damage marine life, especially large mammals. And this month, she wrote a letter to the House Appropriations subcommittee asking her to set aside $ 30 million for improving climate and bad weather modeling, improving infrastructure planning in military and coastal communities.
“She's going into it right away, and we hope she will continue with this fight,” said Alex Taurel, program director at the Conservation Voters Treaty. “Its area is one of the most influential climate in the country. We see that its work is directly responsive to the needs of the areas in their area. ”
Benjamin Melusky, who teaches political science at Old Dominion University, asked that she was politically compatible with the area. Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at the University of Christopher Newport, agreed that there is a “slight disadvantage” in this position in the Second District.
That said, she did not lodge her with an intense offer for reconciliation, he said – although no competitor has yet emerged.
“Purple area in a purple state,” the swing area in the southeast corner of the state is one of the most competitive in the country, Kidd said, and noted that the powers of duty are not as strong elsewhere. “This is a target area. I don't think it belongs to the person who is a member of Congress. ”