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Morning Read: Virginia Senators Co-Sponsoring Off-Shore Energy Bill

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

    Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are co-sponsoring legislation that would lift a federal moratorium on gas and oil drilling off Virginia’s coast.

    The bill, the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf Energy Production Act of 2013, would expand the country’s five-year leasing plan to include selling leases for exploration and drilling off the commonwealth’s coastline.

    But the senators said they would not support drilling unless Virginia gets a good chunk of the revenue generated from the drilling which, under current law, would go to the federal government.

    Specifically, they want Virginia to get 37.5 percent of the revenue from the gas and oil production, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Another 12.5 percent would go to the federal government to be used within Virginia for conservation, public transportation or development of alternative energy. The remaining 50 percent would go to Washington.

    Under the proposal, numerous environmental studies would need to be conducted. The soonest any oil or gas production could occur would be 2020.

    IN OTHER NEWS:

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    The D.C. Council approved a $12.1 billion budget Wednesday. The budget includes tens of millions for affordable housing, money for an expansion of Circulator bus routes, and new funding for the arts. (Washington Post)

    * Both Virginia senators, Democrats Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, tentatively back Congress' immigration bill. (Virginian-Pilot)

    * Reversing his position, Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe now supports exploring for oil off the coast of Virginia. (Washington Post)

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    * Richmond's top prosecutor is looking into gifts to Gov. Bob McDonnell in an investigation requested by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. (Associated Press)