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President Obama announced today that the U.S. Department of the Interior has approved moving forward on a plan to allow oil and gas exploration and production 50 miles off Virginia's coast following a one-year environmental and national security review.

Senator Warner has long been an advocate of expanded domestic energy production as part of a "portfolio approach" to address our nation's energy challenges. He has worked closely with his colleague, Senator Jim Webb, and with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on efforts to make Virginia a national leader in the energy arena. 

After this morning's announcement, Senator Warner released the following statement:

"This is good news and a positive step forward as we work to expand our nation's domestic energy production. Moving forward on the mid-Atlantic off-shore proposal will provide an opportunity to determine the scope of our region's off-shore energy resources, the economic viability of accessing those resources, and the potential impacts on our environmental and national security priorities.

"The next important step is for Congress to approve a formula for sharing revenues between the federal and state government. I am continuing to work with my colleagues to come up with a proposal that is fair and equitable, and which could attract significant new investment and create good jobs in Virginia.

"This is not a 'silver bullet' solution to our nation's chronic energy challenges. But I have long advocated an 'all-of-the-above' approach that incorporates increased R&D into bio-fuels and other renewables, development of our nation's off-shore oil, gas and wind resources, the expanded use of clean coal technology and nuclear energy, and increased conservation measures. This 'portfolio' approach will significantly boost our nation's capacity for domestic energy production while strengthening our national security by reducing our over-reliance on imported oil."