Oil and natural gas exploration and production off Virginia's coast would be allowed under legislation introduced by the state's U.S. senators.
Senators Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner said Virginia would receive half of any leasing revenues under the bill introduced Wednesday.
The Virginia Democrats said the money would support a variety of projects, including infrastructure improvement, land and water conservation, and development of clean energy resources.
Gov. Bob McDonnell supports the legislation. He says it would help move the nation closer to energy independence and bring jobs and revenue to Virginia.