Last week, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a proposed five-year lease program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. The proposal calls for 12 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and three off the Alaskan coast.
Supporters of more domestic oil and gas development complained the decision left out key areas such as offshore Virginia and other potential reserves off the Atlantic Coast.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., told the Platts news service the Interior Department made the wrong decision.
"It's the wrong decision, I hope they'll reconsider, and remember, if we start this process it will be years before we see any oil or gas coming off the state of Virginia," he was quoted as saying.
Salazar said there were concerns related to the U.S. Navy's ability to navigate waters laden with oil and natural gas infrastructure.