“At the request of the governor, MMS included the area offshore Virginia based on the commonwealth’s current energy policy and continued interest in knowing what resources may be off its coastline,” said MMS director Randall Luthi. The sale, referred to as Lease Sale 220, is proposed to be held in 2011.
The area offshore Virginia was initially included in the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2007-2012, but leasing was prohibited due to an executive withdrawal and a congressional moratorium. In July 2008, President Bush lifted the withdrawal and the congressional moratoria expired on 30 September 2008.
Currently the area offshore Virginia being considered for leasing includes a 50-mile buffer and a no-obstruction zone from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.