Virginia's governor says he remains committed to making his state the first on the East Coast to drill offshore for oil and gas, despite the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and wilting political support for new drilling.
McDonnell stressed in an interview Tuesday that he wants answers from the industry on the Gulf spill before Atlantic waters are explored. But he said the government should move forward with a scheduled lease sale that would include areas off Virginia in 2012. Energy production off the state wouldn't start for several years after that.
McDonnell said that being the first East Coast state to explore oil and gas will give Virginia a big economic boost.
In March, President Barack Obama's administration ended a 20-year moratorium on drilling along coastal areas other than the Gulf.