Governor Phil Bryant has joined other state governors in expressing concern over the lack of communication from the federal government on critical matters affecting coastal energy development. In particular, the governors assert that the Interior Department did not consult properly with coastal states on a plan for leasing new areas for oil and gas production for 2012-2017. The plan in question focuses on allowing oil and gas development in already-explored areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic, while ruling out lease sales in new areas in Alaska and in Atlantic waters, despite bipartisan pressure from Virginia officials eager for exploration off Virginia. The seven signing governors include Govs. Phil Bryant, Rick Perry of Texas, Sean Parnell of Alaska, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Robert Bentley of Alabama, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Bob McDonnell of Virginia.