RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Energy and the environment will be front-line issues in this year's battle for governor of Virginia, a state that stretches from Appalachian coal fields to the Chesapeake Bay

Republican Ed Gillespie, Democrat Ralph Northam and Libertarian Cliff Hyra have outlined key differences on matters such as two proposed natural gas pipelines and solutions to recurrent flooding on the state's coast.

In general, Gillespie favors robust extraction of fossil fuels. Northam opposes offshore oil drilling and a natural gas drilling process called fracking in Virginia, and wants greater environmental protections. Hyra opposes two proposed natural gas pipelines but supports an end to Virginia's ban on uranium mining.

Gillespie has received hefty funding from donors in the oil and gas industry. Northam is backed by environmental groups and billionaire activist Tom Steyer.