McDonnell defends drilling, distances himself from Cuccinelli
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell took questions from reporters today on two hot topics in state news. The Republican was wrapping up the first meeting of his council of economic advisers. The group has been tasked with give the Governor a list of recommendations to build job growth in the Commonwealth.
You can read more about that event on NBC12.com.
It was after this meeting, that McDonnell talked about the growing problem in the Gulf of Mexico and a controversial civil investigative demand filed by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli over the work of a former UVA professor on climate change.
McDonnell has been asked numerous times about his push to begin drilling offshore, and each time he has resisted any plea to stop the process from moving forward. Today he said he is “very concerned” about the dangers that offshore drilling may pose, but that was not a reason to give up on the idea all together.
“I just think it is counter to the American spirit of entrepreneurship and progress to say that every time we have and accident that we have to end the pursuit in that area,” McDonnell said. “That is never the way we have done things in America.”
McDonnell said that there is still a lot to be learned about what led to the drilling platform disaster and that the next step for Virginia is to study the environmental impact of drilling, and all of these developments would be taken into account. In his mind, that is not a reason to slow down the process.
Here are his entire comments:
While McDonnell had a lot to say about the future of oil drilling off the coast, he was relatively muted on Cuccinelli requesting the files of a former University of Virginia professor. Cuccinelli has filed a civil investigative demand against the University, related to the work of Professor Michael Mann. Cuccinelli is attempting to determine that Mann defrauded the citizens of Virginia in a search of grants related to research into global warming.
McDonnell, did not have an opinion at all as to whether the Attorney General’s actions were warranted.
“I’d have to let you defer to the attorney general on that on that one, on what he is doing and why he is doing it. He is seperatley elected,” said the Governor.
McDonnell did say that he could not recall filing a similar demand to a public institution during his time in the Attorney General’s office.
He did not cast doubt on Cuccinelli’s effort, he simply claimed he knew nothing about what he was up to.
“What the Attorney General’s theroies are, I only know what I read in the paper about it,” he said. “I have not spoken to him about it.”
His entire remarks on the Cuccinelli CID are below: