Virginia's Gov. McDonnell signs MoU joining wind consortium

Gov. McDonnell was quite clear during his election campaign that he wanted to see Virginia become the east coast’s energy capital and he’s continuing to make good on his word. While his push to get Virginia’s oil industry engaged, asking the federal government to stop dragging its feet and open up the leasing for more offshore wells, has stalled due to the Gulf oil crisis, he’s working on making progress in other energy sectors. Reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Gov. McDonnell has signed on to a consortium of states and the federal government to promote the development of wind energy.

While plans for offshore drilling are on ice, Gov. Bob McDonnell has signed an agreement with governors of nine states and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to create an Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium.

The group intends to promote the development of wind resources on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf — a first step toward broader coordination among the Atlantic states and federal agencies.

Salazar also announced yesterday a new Virginia-based regional renewable energy office to coordinate and speed up the development of renewable energy resources on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, including wind and solar.

McDonnell is calling for faster turnarounds on the permit process for wind energy projects – for the feds to basically get out of the way – so Virginia can more quickly bring that energy to the market. Our coastline offers some good geography for such projects and I am looking forward to seeing those projects move ahead. As I’ve said on a number of occasions, we need to be developing all of our energy sources and wind, particularly, is one that can’t be interrupted by foreign conflict. It’s domestic and it doesn’t require anything we can’t produce here.

Kudos to Governor McDonnell on signing up. Press on for whatever solar and nuclear efforts we can make and let’s get all of our energy generation resources working for us.