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U.S. offshore energy snub criticized in Va.

Thursday - 6/28/2012, 5:03pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - Gov. Bob McDonnell is expressing his disappointment in the Obama administration's unwillingness to allow energy exploration off Virginia's coast until 2017.

He was responding Thursday to the U.S. Interior Department's decision to exclude Virginia from its latest five-year offshore oil and gas development plan.

The government was poised to open waters off Virginia to energy exploration until the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. President Barack Obama then issued a moratorium on drilling off Virginia.

McDonnell has advocated offshore energy exploration as key to his "all of the above" approach regarding domestic energy production. He says the Obama administration is snuffing thousands of potential jobs related to offshore energy.

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor echoed McDonnell's sentiments, saying offshore exploration has bipartisan support in Virginia.

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