API Chief, Governor-Elect Tout Offshore Va. Exploration

American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard issued the following statement on Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell's letter to Interior Secretary Salazar, urging the Interior Department to allow leasing, without delay, in federal waters off Virginia's coast:

"It is time for the Interior Department to take action to allow expeditious leasing of federal oil and gas resources off Virginia’s coast. The governor -- and the majority of Virginians -- want such action. They understand that development of domestic resources will create good jobs for Virginians, help strengthen America's energy security and generate billions of dollars in federal, state and local revenues, which will help pay for schools, public services, roads and safety. They know that the oil and natural gas industry, which supports more than 9.2 million American jobs, has a proven track record of environmentally sensitive development. We agree with Governor-elect McDonnell that the Interior Department should move ahead with the proposed Virginia federal lease in 2011, without delay."