Daily Energy Insider: Sens. Cassidy, Murkowski lead senators in introducing bill to strengthen offshore energy revenue sharing

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) recently led a group of senators in introducing legislation that would strengthen offshore energy revenue sharing.

The bill, the Conservation of America’s Shoreline Terrain and Aquatic Life (COASTAL) Act, would strengthen the offshore energy revenue sharing program under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) and create a new revenue sharing program for future offshore energy production in Alaska. Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Doug Jones (D-AL) joined Cassidy and Murkowski in introducing the bill.

Louisiana constitutionally dedicates revenues from offshore energy production to pay for conservation, restoration, and environmental projects to preserve and restore its coastline. Under current law, Gulf states receive a 37.5 percent share of revenues from energy produced in federal waters compared to states that receive 50 percent from onshore energy production on federal land.

“Louisiana’s coastline infrastructure is critical for America’s energy and economic security,” Dr. Cassidy said. “This legislation creates equal treatment for Louisiana’s offshore revenue sharing and secures the funds needed to strengthen our state’s coastal restoration efforts.”

The bill would also eliminate the cap on the Land & Water Conservation Fund’s financial assistance to states. Under current law, the Land & Water Conservation Fund receives 12.5 percent of revenues generated in the Gulf of Mexico, but cumulative dollars available to the Fund are capped at $500 million. It would also protect GOMESA payments from future sequestration cuts and make oil and gas leases from 2000-2006 eligible for future GOMESA payments to Gulf Coast states.

In 2018, the Department of Interior distributed more than $8.9 billion in revenues from natural resource extraction. Onshore state and local governments received more than $1.5 billion or 17.7 percent. The Gulf States shared approximately $188 million or 2.1 percent.

By:  Kevin Randolph
Source: Daily Energy Insider