Virginia offshore drilling announcement expected today

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President Obama will announce today that the federal government will allow drilling for oil and natural gas 50 miles off Virginia’s coast, according to The Associated Press.

Obama was expected to announce a new drilling policy at a noon event at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The AP said that, while drilling will be allowed off the Virginia coast, proposed drilling leases would be canceled in Alaska’s Bristol.

The new policy reverses a federal ban that has limited coastal drilling outside the Gulf of Mexico.

Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Eric Cantor, R-7th, recently met with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, urging him not to delay plans to lease 3 million acres on Virginia’s continental shelf for energy exploration. Salazar had hinted that the lease might be delayed to permit further studies.

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