WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVEC)-- Breaking ranks with President Trump, Republican Congressman Scott Taylor says he's against offshore drilling.
The former Navy SEAL Taylor says drilling could interfere with military training; plus he says, it is unpopular with his constituents.
"In totality, with the national security piece, and there's a lot of folks in our district who do not support it," said Taylor in a phone interview with 13 News Now. "I mean, I have to listen to my people and represent them."
Joe Bouchard served 27 years in the U.S. Navy, including tours at the Pentagon and with the While House National Security Council staff. Plus he is served as commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk.
He also served for two years as a Democrat in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Bouchard supports the findings of a DC-based advocacy group called "Oceana" which found that 94 percent of the waters off Virginia are vital to an array of military operations that would conflict with offshore oil and gas development.
"I'm very happy that Scott Taylor has come out against off-shore drilling," said Bouchard. "It would be a huge threat to the training ranges of the coast of Virginia and the ability of the Navy in particular, but also all the services who use that range to do the training they need to do to be combat-ready for deployment."
Five Democrats are vying to challenge Taylor, including retired Navy commander Elaine Luria of Norfolk, who announced yesterday.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a statement today, saying:
"Virginia's coastal district deserves a representative with a clear, principled position on an issue as impactful as offshore drilling, not a calculating politician like Rep. Scott Taylor."