VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC)-- Opposition seems to be growing on the subject of offshore drilling here off the coast of Virginia. Especially after the Trump administration announced last week that Florida would be exempted.
"It's just a totally bad idea for all of Virginia and it would really negative impact our industry," said Diana Burke, Executive Director of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association.
"That would be bad for the seafood industry, for our industry." said Laura Wood Habr, co-owner of Croc's 19 th Street Bistro. "We're all co-dependent on each other. Human health and environmental health go hand in hand."
That was one of the primary concerns to emerge from a gathering of stake-holders on Monday, put together by Senator Tim Kaine.
Another major worry was the potential impact on Navy training in the Atlantic, and whether Virginia would then be vulnerable in another round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC).
"If Florida is off limits and there's not going to be any further drilling activity off the Atlantic coast, and we were to have it five years from now or ten years from now, it could enable Florida to poach military assets from Hampton Roads in a way that would be very bad for the economy here," said Kaine.
Retired Navy Rear Admiral Craig Quigley heads the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities alliance. He is also worried.
"Any sort of a crimp or compromise in that training is adverse affect on that training for our military," he said.
Also concerned is Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms "We cannot jeopardize having any harm with the relationship with the Navy, especially now," he said.
Anybody who wants to speak, now is your chance. There's a federal hearing Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Richmond.