Beach City Council votes against offshore oil and gas exploration

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY/AP) — Virginia Beach City Council voted no Tuesday to offshore oil and gas exploration.

City council unanimously voted against the exploration. Councilman John Moss abstained to ensure that there was no conflict of interest.

Mayor Will Sessoms tells 10 On Your Side that city leaders opposed the motion after hearing from business owners and those from the environmental community.

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Sessoms says the city is moving forward with tourism efforts and council didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that revenue.

The vote is a recommendation to President Donald Trump. The president has ordered a review of the Obama-era ban on drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Trump will make the final decision.

The council voted in support of drilling seven years ago. It took a neutral stance in 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.