SPECIAL EDITION OF THE RIGELL REPORT: Jobs, Energy, and … Groundhogs?
Well before I began this season of public service I would hear the following at countless meetings across our region:
“We’ve got to diversify our local economy!
We’re too dependent on defense spending!”
Everyone would nod in agreement and then the discussion would move to the next topic. No resolution. No action.
When it comes to the tough challenge of diversifying our Hampton Roads economy, it’s been a lot like the movie "Groundhog Day" - the one where Bill Murray wakes up to find that he keeps reliving the same day over and over again…
We can do better; we can create an entirely new industry generating thousands of new jobs, and that’s the focus of this Special Edition of the Rigell Report.
Hampton Roads is unquestionably the premier region for an East Coast military command. Tourism is another driver of our economy, and our Port is an incredible regional asset. So how do we become more competitive? How do we reduce our region’s dependence on military spending?
The #1 answer is right next to us: COASTAL ENERGY! That includes traditional sources like gas and oil and renewables like wind. We can create more than 18,000 jobs by leveraging traditional energy resources, and in the process, generate the revenue we need to improve our schools and fix our roads.
That’s why I introduced H.R. 1782, the Virginia Jobs and Energy Act. It requires the federal government to open the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Virginia for responsibly harvesting traditional sources and fast tracks renewable energy like wind. The bill also sets the framework for revenue sharing between the federal government and the Commonwealth.
What’s encouraging to me, and why I think coastal energy is the very best way to grow our economy, is that it represents common ground. and the General Assembly want coastal energy to move forward. recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Virginian-Pilot expressing his support of coastal energy. want to leverage coastal energy to create jobs and generate revenue. And the recently wrote an editorial called “Rigell is Right” regarding my legislation.
A sluggish economy continues to hurt families across our region. The time to create new jobs is NOW, and we can do it while meeting our deep obligation to leave the next generation clean air, clean soil, and clean water. Getting the Virginia Jobs and Energy Act to the House floor, and passing it with bipartisan support, is my number one legislative priority. I’ll keep you posted on the progress I’m making in the days ahead.
Fully focused on job creation, and always mindful that I work for you, I remain,
Yours in Freedom,
Your Congressman in the News
"We are always equal to what we undertake with resolution. It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate, to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance."
- Thomas Jefferson