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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 28, 2017.
Virginia Jobs and Energy Act
This bill directs the Department of the Interior to conduct an oil and gas lease sale off the coast of Virginia within one year, and conduct at least two lease sales in the area during the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. During each of Interior's five-year leasing programs, two lease sales must be conducted off the coast of Virginia.
The bill prohibits oil or natural gas exploration, development, or production off the Virginia coast that would conflict with a military operation.
The bill allocates 37.5% of new leasing revenues received each fiscal year by the federal government for payment to states affected with respect to the leases that generate these revenues.Additionally, the bill sets forth the minimum and maximum revenues that an affected state may receive.
Interior must require any applicant seeking to conduct an offshore meteorological site testing and monitoring project to obtain a permit and right-of-way.(An offshore meteorological site testing and monitoring project is carried out on or in the waters of the outer Continental Shelf to test or monitor weather using towers, buoys, or other temporary ocean infrastructure).These projects shall be exempt from environmental impact statement requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.